TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparing computational power

AU - Boker, Udi

AU - Dershowitz, Nachum

N1 - Funding Information:
1This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 250/05) and was carried out in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree of Udi Boker.

PY - 2006/10

Y1 - 2006/10

N2 - It is common practice to compare the computational power of different models of computation. For example, the recursive functions are strictly more powerful than the primitive recursive functions, because the latter are a proper subset of the former (which includes Ackermann's function). Side-by-side with this "containment" method of measuring power, it is also standard to base comparisons on "simulation". For example, one says that the (untyped) lambda calculus is as powerful - computationally speaking - as the partial recursive functions, because the lambda calculus can simulate all partial recursive functions by encoding the natural numbers as Church numerals. The problem is that unbridled use of these two distinct ways of comparing power allows one to show that some computational models (sets of partial functions) are strictly stronger than themselves! We argue that a better definition is that model A is strictly stronger than B if A can simulate B via some encoding, whereas B cannot simulate A under any encoding. We show that with this definition, too, the recursive functions are strictly stronger than the primitive recursive. We also prove that the recursive functions, partial recursive functions, and Turing machines are "complete", in the sense that no injective encoding can make them equivalent to any "hypercomputational" model.

AB - It is common practice to compare the computational power of different models of computation. For example, the recursive functions are strictly more powerful than the primitive recursive functions, because the latter are a proper subset of the former (which includes Ackermann's function). Side-by-side with this "containment" method of measuring power, it is also standard to base comparisons on "simulation". For example, one says that the (untyped) lambda calculus is as powerful - computationally speaking - as the partial recursive functions, because the lambda calculus can simulate all partial recursive functions by encoding the natural numbers as Church numerals. The problem is that unbridled use of these two distinct ways of comparing power allows one to show that some computational models (sets of partial functions) are strictly stronger than themselves! We argue that a better definition is that model A is strictly stronger than B if A can simulate B via some encoding, whereas B cannot simulate A under any encoding. We show that with this definition, too, the recursive functions are strictly stronger than the primitive recursive. We also prove that the recursive functions, partial recursive functions, and Turing machines are "complete", in the sense that no injective encoding can make them equivalent to any "hypercomputational" model.

KW - Computational models

KW - Computational power

KW - Hypercomputation

KW - Simulation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33745459812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/jigpal/jzl003

DO - 10.1093/jigpal/jzl003

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AN - SCOPUS:33745459812

SN - 1367-0751

VL - 14

SP - 633

EP - 647

JO - Logic Journal of the IGPL

JF - Logic Journal of the IGPL

IS - 5

ER -