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Chaitin's construction

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This question leads us to [[exact real arithmetic]], foundations of [[mathematics]] and [[computer science]].
 
This question leads us to [[exact real arithmetic]], foundations of [[mathematics]] and [[computer science]].
   
Wikipedia article on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaitin%27s_constant Chaitin's construction], referring to e.g.
+
See Wikipedia article on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaitin%27s_constant Chaitin's construction], referring to e.g.
 
* [http://www.expmath.org/expmath/volumes/11/11.3/Calude361_370.pdf Computing a Glimpse of Randomness] (written by Cristian S. Calude, Michael J. Dinneen, and Chi-Kou Shu)
 
* [http://www.expmath.org/expmath/volumes/11/11.3/Calude361_370.pdf Computing a Glimpse of Randomness] (written by Cristian S. Calude, Michael J. Dinneen, and Chi-Kou Shu)
 
* [http://www.plus.maths.org.uk/issue37/features/omega/index.html Omega and why math has no TOEs] (Gregory Chaitin).
 
* [http://www.plus.maths.org.uk/issue37/features/omega/index.html Omega and why math has no TOEs] (Gregory Chaitin).

Revision as of 14:01, 3 August 2006

Contents


1 Introduction

Are there any real numbers which are defined exactly, but cannot be computed? This question leads us to exact real arithmetic, foundations of mathematics and computer science.

See Wikipedia article on Chaitin's construction, referring to e.g.

2 Basing it on combinatory logic

Some more direct relatedness to functional programming: we can base Ω on combinatory logic (instead of a Turing machine), see the prefix coding system described in Binary Lambda Calculus and Combinatory Logic (page 20) written by John Tromp:

\widehat{\mathbf S} \equiv 00
\widehat{\mathbf K} \equiv 01
\widehat{\left(x y\right)} \equiv 1 \widehat x \widehat y

of course, c, d are meta-variables, and also some other notations are changed slightly.

Now, Chaitin's construction will be here

\sum_{p\in \mathrm{Dom}_\mathrm{dc},\;\mathrm{hnf}\left(\mathrm{dc}\;p\right)} 2^{-\left|p\right|}

where

hnf
should denote an unary predicate “has normal form” (“terminates”)
dc
should mean an operator “decode” (a function from finite bit sequences to combinatory logic terms)
2\!\;^{*}
should denote the set of all finite bit sequences
Domdc
should denote the set of syntactically correct bit sequences (semantically, they may either terminate or diverge), i.e. the domain of the decoding function, i.e. the range of the coding function. Thus, \left\{00, 01, 1\;00\;00, 1\;00\;01, 1\;01\;00, 1\;01\;01, \dots\right\} = \mathrm{Dom}_{\mathrm{dc}} = \mathrm{Rng}_{\widehat\ }
“Absolute value”
should mean the length of a bit sequence (not combinatory logic term evaluation!)

Here, dc is a partial function (from finite bit sequences). If this is confusing or annoying, then we can choose a more Haskell-like approach, making dc a total function:

 dc :: [Bit] -> Maybe CL

then, Chaitin's construction will be

\sum_{p\in 2^*,\;\mathrm{maybe}\;\downarrow\;\mathrm{hnf}\;\left(\mathrm{dc}\;p\right)} 2^{-\left|p\right|}

where \downarrow should denote false truth value.

3 Related concepts

4 To do

Writing a program in Haskell -- or in combinatory logic:-) -- which could help in making conjectures on combinatory logic-based Chaitin's constructions. It would make only approximations, in a similar way that most Mandelbrot plotting softwares work: it would ask for a maximum limit of iterations.

chaitin --computation=cl --coding=tromp --limit-of-iterations=5000 --digits=10 --decimal