01 - COMP272: Theory of Computation Unit 1: Motivation and...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: COMP272: Theory of Computation Unit 1: Motivation and Overview Theory of Computation Mathematical study of computing machines, their fundamental capabilities and their limitations. Q1 : What problems are solvable, in PRACTICE, by computer and what problems are not? Complexity theory (NP-hardness) answers these ques- tions (see COMP271). Q2 : What problems are solvable, in PRINCIPLE, by computers and what problems are not? Computability theory answers these questions (see COMP 272). 1 Motivation Example 1 A compiler can detect syntax errors in the pro- grams you write. Can we write a compiler that will also detect “infinite loops”? No! The problem of whether a program halts under all inputs is an UNSOLVABLE problem. We will see why in this course. Example 2 Given any two programs, determine whether they compute the same function. This problem is also UNSOLVABLE. 2 Motivation What is an unsolvable problem? A problem for which there is no algorithm?...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 09/22/2011 for the course COMP 272 taught by Professor Prof.tai during the Spring '10 term at HKUST.

Page1 / 6

01 - COMP272: Theory of Computation Unit 1: Motivation and...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online