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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

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Stephen Cook
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Stephen Arthur Cook, OC OOnt is an American-Canadian computer scientist and mathematician who has made major contributions to the fields of complexity theory and proof complexity. He is currently a university professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Computer Science, Cook received his Bachelors degree in 1961 from the University of Michigan, and his Masters degree and Ph. D. from Harvard University, respectively in 1962 and 1966. He joined the University of California, Berkeley, mathematics department in 1966 as an assistant professor, Stephen Cook is considered one of the forefathers of computational complexity theory. During his PhD, Cook worked on complexity of functions, mainly on multiplication and this theorem was proven independently by Leonid Levin in the Soviet Union, and has thus been given the name the Cook-Levin theorem. The paper also formulated the most famous problem in computer science, informally, the P vs. NP question asks whether every optimization problem whose answers can be efficiently verified for correctness/optimality can be solved optimally with an efficient algorithm. Given the abundance of such problems in everyday life, a positive answer to the P vs. NP question would likely have profound practical and philosophical consequences. Cook conjectures that there are problems which cannot be solved by efficient algorithms. Yet, the conjecture remains open and is among the seven famous Millennium Prize Problems, in 1982, Cook received the Turing award for his contributions to complexity theory. His citation reads, For his advancement of our understanding of the complexity of computation in a significant and his seminal paper, The Complexity of Theorem Proving Procedures, presented at the 1971 ACM SIGACT Symposium on the Theory of Computing, laid the foundations for the theory of NP-Completeness. The ensuing exploration of the boundaries and nature of NP-complete class of problems has been one of the most active and he made another major contribution to the field in his 1979 paper, joint with his student Robert A. They proved that the existence of a system in which every true formula has a short proof is equivalent to NP = coNP. Cook co-authored a book with his student Phuong The Nguyen in this area titled Logical Foundations of Proof Complexity and his main research areas are complexity theory and proof complexity, with excursions into programming language semantics, parallel computation, and artificial intelligence. He named the complexity class NC after Nick Pippenger, the complexity class SC is named after him. The definition of the complexity class AC0 and its hierarchy AC are also introduced by him, according to Don Knuth the KMP algorithm was inspired by Cooks automata for recognizing concatenated palindromes in linear time. Cook was awarded a Steacie Fellowship in 1977, a Killam Research Fellowship in 1982 and he has won John L. Synge Award and Bernard Bolzano Medal, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of London and Royal Society of Canada. Cook was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, Cook won the ACM Turing Award in 1982. Association for Computing Machinery honored him as a Fellow of ACM in 2008 for his contributions to the theory of computational complexity. The Government of Ontario appointed him to the Order of Ontario in 2013 and he has won the 2012 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, the highest honor for scientist and engineers in Canada

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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

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Big O notation
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Big O notation is a mathematical notation that describes the limiting behavior of a function when the argument tends towards a particular value or infinity. It is a member of a family of notations invented by Paul Bachmann, Edmund Landau, in computer science, big O notation is used to classify algorithms according to how their running time or space requirements grow as the input size grows. Big O notation characterizes functions according to their rates, different functions with the same growth rate may be represented using the same O notation. The letter O is used because the rate of a function is also referred to as order of the function. A description of a function in terms of big O notation usually only provides a bound on the growth rate of the function. Associated with big O notation are several related notations, using the symbols o, Ω, ω, Big O notation is also used in many other fields to provide similar estimates. Let f and g be two functions defined on some subset of the real numbers. That is, f = O if and only if there exists a real number M. In many contexts, the assumption that we are interested in the rate as the variable x goes to infinity is left unstated. If f is a product of several factors, any constants can be omitted, for example, let f = 6x4 − 2x3 +5, and suppose we wish to simplify this function, using O notation, to describe its growth rate as x approaches infinity. This function is the sum of three terms, 6x4, −2x3, and 5, of these three terms, the one with the highest growth rate is the one with the largest exponent as a function of x, namely 6x4. Now one may apply the rule, 6x4 is a product of 6. Omitting this factor results in the simplified form x4, thus, we say that f is a big-oh of. Mathematically, we can write f = O, one may confirm this calculation using the formal definition, let f = 6x4 − 2x3 +5 and g = x4. Applying the formal definition from above, the statement that f = O is equivalent to its expansion, | f | ≤ M | x 4 | for some choice of x0 and M. To prove this, let x0 =1 and M =13, Big O notation has two main areas of application. In mathematics, it is used to describe how closely a finite series approximates a given function. In computer science, it is useful in the analysis of algorithms, in both applications, the function g appearing within the O is typically chosen to be as simple as possible, omitting constant factors and lower order terms