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Computational complexity theory
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A problem is regarded as inherently difficult if its solution requires significant resources, whatever the algorithm used. The theory formalizes this intuition, by introducing mathematical models of computation to study these problems and quantifying the amount of resources needed to solve them, such as time and storage. Other complexity measures are used, such as the amount of communication, the number of gates in a circuit. One of the roles of computational complexity theory is to determine the limits on what computers can. Closely related fields in computer science are analysis of algorithms. More precisely, computational complexity theory tries to classify problems that can or cannot be solved with appropriately restricted resources, a computational problem can be viewed as an infinite collection of instances together with a solution for every instance. The input string for a problem is referred to as a problem instance. In computational complexity theory, a problem refers to the question to be solved. In contrast, an instance of this problem is a rather concrete utterance, for example, consider the problem of primality testing. The instance is a number and the solution is yes if the number is prime, stated another way, the instance is a particular input to the problem, and the solution is the output corresponding to the given input. For this reason, complexity theory addresses computational problems and not particular problem instances, when considering computational problems, a problem instance is a string over an alphabet. Usually, the alphabet is taken to be the binary alphabet, as in a real-world computer, mathematical objects other than bitstrings must be suitably encoded. For example, integers can be represented in binary notation, and graphs can be encoded directly via their adjacency matrices and this can be achieved by ensuring that different representations can be transformed into each other efficiently. Decision problems are one of the objects of study in computational complexity theory. A decision problem is a type of computational problem whose answer is either yes or no. A decision problem can be viewed as a language, where the members of the language are instances whose output is yes. The objective is to decide, with the aid of an algorithm, if the algorithm deciding this problem returns the answer yes, the algorithm is said to accept the input string, otherwise it is said to reject the input. An example of a problem is the following

2.
Complexity class
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In computational complexity theory, a complexity class is a set of problems of related resource-based complexity. A typical complexity class has a definition of the form, the set of problems that can be solved by an abstract machine M using O of resource R, Complexity classes are concerned with the rate of growth of the requirement in resources as the input n increases. It is a measurement, and does not give time or space in requirements in terms of seconds or bytes. The O is read as order of, for the purposes of computational complexity theory, some of the details of the function can be ignored, for instance many possible polynomials can be grouped together as a class. The resource in question can either be time, essentially the number of operations on an abstract machine. The simplest complexity classes are defined by the factors, The type of computational problem. However, complexity classes can be defined based on problems, counting problems, optimization problems, promise problems. The resource that are being bounded and the bounds, These two properties are usually stated together, such as time, logarithmic space, constant depth. Many complexity classes can be characterized in terms of the logic needed to express them. Bounding the computation time above by some function f often yields complexity classes that depend on the chosen machine model. For instance, the language can be solved in time on a multi-tape Turing machine. If we allow polynomial variations in running time, Cobham-Edmonds thesis states that the complexities in any two reasonable and general models of computation are polynomially related. This forms the basis for the complexity class P, which is the set of problems solvable by a deterministic Turing machine within polynomial time. The corresponding set of problems is FP. The Blum axioms can be used to define complexity classes without referring to a computational model. Many important complexity classes can be defined by bounding the time or space used by the algorithm, some important complexity classes of decision problems defined in this manner are the following, It turns out that PSPACE = NPSPACE and EXPSPACE = NEXPSPACE by Savitchs theorem. #P is an important complexity class of counting problems, classes like IP and AM are defined using Interactive proof systems. ALL is the class of all decision problems, many complexity classes are defined using the concept of a reduction

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Polynomial hierarchy
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In computational complexity theory, the polynomial hierarchy is a hierarchy of complexity classes that generalize the classes P, NP and co-NP to oracle machines. It is a counterpart to the arithmetical hierarchy and analytical hierarchy from mathematical logic. There are multiple equivalent definitions of the classes of the polynomial hierarchy. If any Σ k P = Σ k +1 P, or if any Σ k P = Π k P, then the hierarchy collapses to level k, in particular, if P = NP, then the hierarchy collapses completely. The union of all classes in the hierarchy is the complexity class PH. The polynomial hierarchy is an analogue of the hierarchy and arithmetical hierarchy. It is known that PH is contained within PSPACE, but it is not known whether the two classes are equal. One useful reformulation of this problem is that PH = PSPACE if, if the polynomial hierarchy has any complete problems, then it has only finitely many distinct levels. Since there are PSPACE-complete problems, we know that if PSPACE = PH, then the hierarchy must collapse. Each class in the hierarchy contains ≤ m P -complete problems. Furthermore, each class in the hierarchy is closed under ≤ m P -reductions, meaning that for a class C in the hierarchy. These two facts together imply that if K i is a problem for Σ i P, then Σ i +1 P = N P K i. For instance, Σ2 P = N P S A T, in other words, if a language is defined based on some oracle in C, then we can assume that it is defined based on a complete problem for C. Complete problems therefore act as representatives of the class for which they are complete, the Sipser–Lautemann theorem states that the class BPP is contained in the second level of the polynomial hierarchy. Kannans theorem states that for any k, Σ2 is not contained in SIZE, todas theorem states that the polynomial hierarchy is contained in P#P. EXPTIME Exponential hierarchy Arithmetic hierarchy A. R. Meyer and L. J. Stockmeyer. The Equivalence Problem for Regular Expressions with Squaring Requires Exponential Space, in Proceedings of the 13th IEEE Symposium on Switching and Automata Theory, pp. 125–129,1972. The paper that introduced the polynomial hierarchy, theoretical Computer Science, vol.3, pp. 1–22,1976. Michael R. Garey and David S. Johnson, computers and Intractability, A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness

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Turing machine
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Despite the models simplicity, given any computer algorithm, a Turing machine can be constructed that is capable of simulating that algorithms logic. The machine operates on an infinite memory tape divided into discrete cells, the machine positions its head over a cell and reads the symbol there. The Turing machine was invented in 1936 by Alan Turing, who called it an a-machine, thus, Turing machines prove fundamental limitations on the power of mechanical computation. Turing completeness is the ability for a system of instructions to simulate a Turing machine, a Turing machine is a general example of a CPU that controls all data manipulation done by a computer, with the canonical machine using sequential memory to store data. More specifically, it is a capable of enumerating some arbitrary subset of valid strings of an alphabet. Assuming a black box, the Turing machine cannot know whether it will eventually enumerate any one specific string of the subset with a given program and this is due to the fact that the halting problem is unsolvable, which has major implications for the theoretical limits of computing. The Turing machine is capable of processing an unrestricted grammar, which implies that it is capable of robustly evaluating first-order logic in an infinite number of ways. This is famously demonstrated through lambda calculus, a Turing machine that is able to simulate any other Turing machine is called a universal Turing machine. The thesis states that Turing machines indeed capture the notion of effective methods in logic and mathematics. Studying their abstract properties yields many insights into computer science and complexity theory, at any moment there is one symbol in the machine, it is called the scanned symbol. The machine can alter the scanned symbol, and its behavior is in part determined by that symbol, however, the tape can be moved back and forth through the machine, this being one of the elementary operations of the machine. Any symbol on the tape may therefore eventually have an innings, the Turing machine mathematically models a machine that mechanically operates on a tape. On this tape are symbols, which the machine can read and write, one at a time, in the original article, Turing imagines not a mechanism, but a person whom he calls the computer, who executes these deterministic mechanical rules slavishly. If δ is not defined on the current state and the current tape symbol, Q0 ∈ Q is the initial state F ⊆ Q is the set of final or accepting states. The initial tape contents is said to be accepted by M if it eventually halts in a state from F, Anything that operates according to these specifications is a Turing machine. The 7-tuple for the 3-state busy beaver looks like this, Q = Γ = b =0 Σ = q 0 = A F = δ = see state-table below Initially all tape cells are marked with 0. In the words of van Emde Boas, p.6, The set-theoretical object provides only partial information on how the machine will behave and what its computations will look like. For instance, There will need to be many decisions on what the symbols actually look like, and a failproof way of reading and writing symbols indefinitely