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Computation, Dynamics, and Cognition$
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Marco Giunti

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195090093

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195090093.001.0001

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Mathematical Dynamical Systems and Computational Systems

Mathematical Dynamical Systems and Computational Systems

One Mathematical Dynamical Systems and Computational Systems
Title Pages

Marco Giunti

Oxford University Press

The main thesis of this chapter is that a dynamical viewpoint allows us to better understand some important foundational issues of computation theory. Effective procedures are traditionally studied from two different but complementary points of view. The first approach is concerned with individuating those numeric functions that are effectively calculable. This approach reached its systematization with the theory of the recursive functions (Gödel, Church Kleene).This theory is not directly concerned with computing devices or computations. Rather, the effective calculability of a recursive function is guaranteed by the algorithmic nature of its definition. In contrast, the second approach focuses on a family of abstract mechanisms, which are then typically used to compute or recognize numeric functions, sets of numbers, or numbers. These devices can be divided into two broad categories: automata or machines (Turing and Post), and systems of rules for symbol manipulation (Post). The mechanisms that have been studied include: a. Automata or Machines 1. gate-nets and McCulloch-Pitts nets 2. finite automata (Mealy and Moore machines) 3. push-down automata 4. stack automata 5. Turing machines 6. register machines 7. wang machines 8. cellular automata b. Systems of Rules 9. monogenic production systems in general 10. monogenic Post canonical systems 11. monogenic Post normal systems 12. tag systems. I call any device studied by computation theory a computational system. Computation theory is traditionally interested in studying the relations between each type of computational system and the others, and in establishing what class of numeric functions each type can compute. Accordingly one proves two kinds of theorem: (1) that systems of a given type emulate systems of another type (examples: Turing machines emulate register machines and cellular automata; cellular automata emulate Turing machines, etc.), and (2) that a certain type of system is complete relative to the class of the (partial) recursive functions or, in other words, that this type of system can compute all and only the (partial) recursive functions (examples of complete systems: Turing machines, register machines, cellular automata, tag systems, etc.). All different types of computational systems have much in common. Nevertheless, it is not at all clear exactly which properties these mechanisms share.

Keywords:   cascade, emulation, halting problem, orbit, pattern field, quasi-ordering, realization, state evolution

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