Turing machine

A mathematical device used by the English mathematician Alan Turing (1912–54) to make precise the notion of an algorithm, or an effective computation. A Turing machine is a computer with a potentially infinite linear tape in both directions, divided into discrete squares that are scanned one at a time. Symbols in the squares are from a finite alphabet. The instructions for the machine are sets of ordered quintuples: <qi, si, sk, M, qj >. qi is the state the machine is in at the first moment, si is the symbol it reads on the square, sk a symbol with which it replaces it, M is the instruction to move one square right or left or remain where it is, and qj the state at the next moment. A function f(x ) is Turing computable if, when some representation of the argument x is put on the tape, the machine halts on a representation of the value f(x ). The class of Turing computable functions is identical with the class of general recursive functions (see also Church's thesis ).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Turing machine — 1937, named for English mathematician and computer pioneer Alan M. Turing (1912 1954), who described such a device in 1936 …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Turing machine — noun An abstract computing machine introduced in 1936 by Alan Turing to give a mathematically precise definition of computability. See Also: universal Turing machine, Turing complete, Turing function …   Wiktionary

  • Turing Machine —    The Claim That Man Can Be Understood as a Turing Machine    [W]hen Minsky or Turing claims that man can be understood as a Turing machine, they must mean that a digital computer can reproduce a human behavior . . . by processing data… …   Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science

  • Turing machine — Tu′ring machine [[t]ˈtʊər ɪŋ, ˈtyʊər [/t]] n. math. a hypothetical computing device used in mathematical studies of the computability of numbers and in theories of automata • Etymology: after Alan M. Turing (1912–54), English mathematician, who… …   From formal English to slang

  • Turing machine — noun Etymology: A. M. Turing died 1954 English mathematician Date: 1937 a hypothetical computing machine that has an unlimited amount of information storage …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Turing machine — noun a mathematical model of a hypothetical computing machine which can use a predefined set of rules to determine a result from a set of input variables. Origin named after the English mathematician Alan Turing (1912–54) …   English new terms dictionary

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