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Generic Computational Models

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Gurevich’s abstract state machines provide a generic model of computation. He has shown that any transition system with logical structures as states and finitely-describable transitions can be emulated step-by-step and state-for-state by some abstract state machine.

This model can be extended to cover parallel computation, taking into account the ability of processes to spawn new processes. And the axiomatization can be refined to characterize effectiveness, by insisting that initial states can also be finitely described.

The Church-Turing Thesis, the Invariance Thesis, and the Parallel Computation Thesis follow from these formalizations.

This talk is part of the Logic and Semantics Seminar (Computer Laboratory) series.

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