Difference between revisions of "Turing machine"

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(can't talk about theoretical computer science without these.)
 
(Remove parody, put in some information. See talk.)
 
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A '''Turing machine''' is a theoretical representation of a [[computer]], as imagined by [[Alan Turing]], the founding father of modern [[computer science]]. Computer programs and [[algorithm]]s are represented by a tape that is fed into the machine. The machine then executes the instructions on the tape.
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A '''Turing machine''' is a theoretical representation of a [[computer]], as formulated by [[Alan Turing]], the founding father of modern [[computer science]]. In a Turing machine, the data (including, in some cases, the encoding of the program) are represented by symbols on a potentially infinite tape. The tape is read and written by a hypothetical "state machine".
  
Turing machines are useful because they do not suffer from physical limitations such as [[memory]] allocation, [[processor]] speed, or power usage. However, they may encounter problems executing certain programs; predicting when this happens is the idea behind the [[halting problem]].
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Turing machines are an artifice for theoretical discussions of such issues as computability, universality, and the so-called  [[halting problem]].
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Turing machines are never actually built, except possibly as jokes.
  
 
[[Category:Computer Science]]
 
[[Category:Computer Science]]

Latest revision as of 20:08, 2 December 2009

A Turing machine is a theoretical representation of a computer, as formulated by Alan Turing, the founding father of modern computer science. In a Turing machine, the data (including, in some cases, the encoding of the program) are represented by symbols on a potentially infinite tape. The tape is read and written by a hypothetical "state machine".

Turing machines are an artifice for theoretical discussions of such issues as computability, universality, and the so-called halting problem.

Turing machines are never actually built, except possibly as jokes.