# Hilberts Entscheidungsproblem, the 10th Problem and Turing Machines

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1 Hilberts Entscheidungsproblem, the 10th Problem and Turing Machines Nitin Saxena (Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, Bonn) [Happy] [100 th ] [Alan] [Mathison] [Turing!][][][]... **all pictures are works of others. 2012

2 Contents Prologue Before Turing Hilbert challenges Turing's first paper Matiyasevich solves the 10 th Problem Epilogue Hilbert's 10th Problem 2

3 Prologue Turing did many things... (including winning WW2!) But we focus on his abstract contributions. Postulated a simple, most general, mathematical model for computing Turing machine (TM). How this postulation, together with Hilbert's dreams and Matiyasevich's realizations, led to some fundamental physical/ mathematical phenomena... Turing ( ) Hilbert's 10th Problem 3

4 Prologue Turing machines first appeared in the paper: Hilbert's 10th Problem 4

5 Contents Prologue Before Turing Hilbert challenges Turing's first paper Matiyasevich solves the 10 th Problem Epilogue Hilbert's 10th Problem 5

6 Before Turing Gottfried Leibniz dreamt of building a machine that could check the truth of math statements. David Hilbert posed 23 problems in ICM Paris (1900) with the speech...what methods, what new facts will the new century reveal in the vast and rich field of mathematical thought?... Only 3 are still unresolved! Leibniz ( ) This talk is about one of the resolved ones: the 10 th problem. Hilbert ( ) Hilbert's 10th Problem 6

7 Before Turing Here is the list of the 23 problems: 1) Cantor's problem of the cardinal number of the continuum. 2) The compatibility of the arithmetical axioms. 3) The equality of the volumes of two tetrahedra of equal bases and equal altitudes. 4) Problem of the straight line as the shortest distance between two points. 5) Lie's concept of a continuous group of transformations without the assumption of the differentiability of the functions defining the group. 6) Mathematical treatment of the axioms of physics. 7) Irrationality and transcendence of certain numbers. 8) Problems of prime numbers. 9) Proof of the most general law of reciprocity in any number field. 10) Determination of the solvability of a diophantine equation. 11) Quadratic forms with any algebraic numerical coefficients. 12) Extension of Kronecker's theorem on abelian fields to any algebraic realm of rationality. Hilbert's 10th Problem 7

8 Before Turing 13) Impossibility of the solution of the general equation of the 7 th degree by means of functions of only two arguments. 14) Proof of the finiteness of certain complete systems of functions. 15) Rigorous foundation of Schubert's enumerative calculus. 16) Problem of the topology of algebraic curves and surfaces. 17) Expression of definite forms by squares. 18) Building up of space from congruent polyhedra. 19) Are the solutions of regular problems in the calculus of variations always necessarily analytic? 20) The general problem of boundary values. 21) Proof of the existence of linear differential equations having a prescribed monodromic group. 22) Uniformization of analytic relations by means of automorphic functions. 23) Further development of the methods of the calculus of variations. Hilbert's 10th Problem 8

9 Contents Prologue Before Turing Hilbert challenges Turing's first paper Matiyasevich solves the 10 th Problem Epilogue Hilbert's 10th Problem 9

10 Hilbert challenges Hilbert (1928) further asked for an algorithm to decide whether a given statement is provable from the axioms using the rules of logic. Known as the Entscheidungsproblem. He believed there exists no undecidable problem! Answer first requires defining 'algorithm' & 'computation'. Done by Alonzo Church (1935-6). Using effective computability based on his λ-calculus. Gave a negative answer! Church ( ) Hilbert's 10th Problem 10

11 Hilbert challenges Church showed that there is no algorithm to decide the equivalence of two given λ-calculus expressions. λ-calculus formalizes mathematics through functions in contrast to set theory. Eg. natural numbers are defined as 0 := λfx.x 1 := λfx.f x 2 := λfx.f (f x) 3 := λfx.f (f (f x)) Addition, multiplication, recursion, substitution, evaluation are defined... Hilbert's 10th Problem 11

12 Contents Prologue Before Turing Hilbert challenges Turing's first paper Matiyasevich solves the 10 th Problem Epilogue Hilbert's 10th Problem 12

13 Turing's first paper Soon after Church, Turing (1936-7) gave his own proof. Inventing the more tangible Turing machines. Showed the uncomputability of the Halting problem. Deciding whether a given TM halts or not. He also realized that Turing machines and λ-calculus are equivalent models of computation. After studying the equivalence of several such models, they made the Church-Turing thesis a function is realistically computable if and only if it is computable by a Turing machine. Hilbert's 10th Problem 13

14 Turing's first paper Both the proofs were motivated by Kurt Gödel's work. Gödel (1931) invented a numbering to logical formulas in order to reduce logic to arithmetic, and prove his incompleteness theorem. Turing's proof idea for Entscheidungsproblem: Enumerate the TMs as {M 1, M 2, M 3, }. Gödel ( ) Let M i be the one solving the Halting problem. Consider the TM M: On input x, if M i rejects x(x) then ACCEPT else NOT(x(x)). What is M(M)?? Thus, Halting problem is uncomputable. Express Halting problem as a first-order statement. Hilbert's 10th Problem 14

15 Contents Prologue Before Turing Hilbert challenges Turing's first paper Matiyasevich solves the 10 th Problem Epilogue Hilbert's 10th Problem 15

16 Matiyasevich We saw two uncomputable problems. How about a more natural (number theoretic) problem? Hilbert's 10 th problem: Deciding solvability of an integral polynomial (aka Diophantine solvability). Ancient mathematicians have spent much time looking at such toy equations. Univariate: linear, quadratic, cubic, quartic, quintic,... n-variate: x 2 -Dy 2 =1, x 3 +y 3 =z 3, x 100 +y 100 =z 100, y 2 =x 3 +Ax+B,... Hilbert asked if one could automate the study of solvability. Answer (after a long time in 1970): NO! Meta-Claim: Rarely can humans discern Diophantine equations. Hilbert's 10th Problem 16

17 Matiyasevich A large body of work towards Hilbert's 10 th problem Emil Leon Post (1940), Martin Davis ( ), Julia Robinson ( ), Hilary Putnam ( ). Yuri Matiyasevich (1970) provided the last crucial step, giving a negative answer to the 10 th problem. The Theorem: If R is a computably enumerable (ce) language then there exists P Z[x,x 1,...,x n ] such that: x R iff P(x,x 1,...,x n ) has an integral root. A language R {0,1}* is ce if there is a TM that accepts exactly R. P is called a Diophantine representation of R. => Halting problem has a Diophantine representation! Matiyasevich (1947-) Hilbert's 10th Problem 17

18 Matiyasevich (Prime formula) Before the PROOF, a fun implication: integral polynomial whose positive values are primes! Proof: PRIMES is clearly ce. Thus, Diophantine representation P(x,x 1,...,x n ). Consider Q(x,x 1,...,x n ) := x(1-p 2 ). Q>0 iff P 2 <1 iff P=0 iff Q=x is prime! There has been much work to discover this prime formula. (Jones, Sato, Wada & Wiens 1976) gave a 26-variate polynomial of degree 25. (Matiyasevich 1977) gave a 10-variate polynomial of degree (Jones 1982) gave a 58-variate polynomial of degree 4. Hilbert's 10th Problem 18

19 Matiyasevich (Prime formula) Hilbert's 10th Problem 19

20 Matiyasevich (Proof) The proof of every ce language has a Diophantine rep. is fairly tedious. We will discuss only the basic ideas and steps involved. Let R {0,1}* be a ce language, and M be a TM that prints R one string at a time. At any point, M is in a configuration C described as [s(c), p(c), q(c), a 0 (C),..., a q-1 (C)] [state, head position, #used cells, bits in those cells] Overall, whether M will print a string b or not can be expressed as a first-order formula, F R (b) := C 1 C 2 (start(c 1 ) & compute(c 1,C 2 ) & stop(c 2,b)). Hilbert's 10th Problem 20

21 Matiyasevich (Proof) start(c 1 ) asserts that C 1 is the start configuration. compute(c 1,C 2 ) asserts that in finitely many steps M moves from configuration C 1 to configuration C 2. stop(c 2 ) asserts that C 2 is the stop configuration. This gives us a first-order formula to express R, almost. In quantification C we need to encode C as a single integer. Idea: Chinese Remaindering (CR). Encode [a 0,..., a n-1 ] as two integers (x,y) such that n = x (mod 1+y) and i<n, a i = x (mod 1+(i+2)y). There is another, more serious, issue... Hilbert's 10th Problem 21

22 Matiyasevich (Proof) For CR to work we need {1+(i+2)y -1 i n-1} to be coprime numbers. Observe: y=n! works. How do we express n! as a polynomial in n?? Plan: Diophantine representations of 1) Exponential y z => Binomial coefficient y C z, 2) Binomial coefficient y C z => Factorial y!. 3) Exponential y z. The last step took the longest time! Hilbert's 10th Problem 22

23 Matiyasevich (Steps 1 & 2) Step 1: (1+p) y = y i=0 y C i p i = u + ( y C z +vp)p z. For a large enough p, one can extract y C z from (1+p) y by first dividing by p z and then by p. Step 2: p C y = p(p-1)...(p-y+1) / y!. For a large enough p, one can approximate y! from p y / p C y. These ideas can be easily worked out. What remains is expressing the exponential y z. Hilbert's 10th Problem 23

24 Matiyasevich (Step 3) Step 3: v n is computed modulo (v 2-2av+1) for large a. Observe: v n = x n (a) + y n (a).(v-a) (mod v 2-2av+1), where ( a+ (a 2-1) ) n = x n (a) + y n (a). (a 2-1). We want a Diophantine rep. of x n (a) and y n (a). Observe: (x n (a), y n (a)) is a root of X 2 - (a 2-1)Y 2 = 1. Known as Fermat's equation. Its roots have nice periodic/ recurrence properties. Ultimately, this allows a Diophantine rep. of v n! Hilbert's 10th Problem 24

25 Contents Prologue Before Turing Hilbert challenges Turing's first paper Matiyasevich solves the 10 th Problem Epilogue Hilbert's 10th Problem 25

26 Epilogue The 10 th problem for Z is uncomputable. (Shapiro & Shlapentokh 1989) showed it uncomputable for any integer ring of an alg. number field F, with abelian Gal(F/Q). (Tarski 1930) showed it computable for real closed fields (eg. R). OPEN: For Q? Thanks to Turing we understand computability better now. What about complexity? New versions of computation have propped up nondeterministic, randomized, quantum, bio/ DNA,... the evolution of the universe itself is a computation Digital physics / pan-computationalism. Thank you! Hilbert's 10th Problem 26

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