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CSC 4170

heory of Computatio
Turing Machines
Section 3.1

3.1.a

Components of a Turing machine (TM)

b a b b

- -

(Q,,,,start,accept,reject)
Q is the set of states
is the input alphabet not containing the blank symbol is the tape alphabet, where - and
is the transition function of the type Q Q{L,R}
start,accept,reject Q, where rejectaccept; the states
accept and reject are called halting states.
There are no transitions from the halting states, and they immediately take effect!
q1

xy,R

q2

If the current tape symbol is x, replace it with y, move the head right and go to
q2. The label xx,R is simply written as xR.
If we here have L instead of R, then the head is moved left, unless it was on the
first cell, in which case it remains where it was.

3.1.b

How a Turing machine works


0L
xL
xR

start

-R

-L

q2

0 -,R

-R
xR

q5

0x,R

-R

reject

q4

accept

xR
0 x,R

0R

-R

q3

xR

Configuration:
1. Current state;
2. Tape contents;
3. Head position

3.1.c1

Definitions

A TM accepts an input string iff, for this input, sooner or later it enters
the accept state.
Otherwise the string is considered rejected.
Thus, the input is rejected in two cases:
1) The machine enters the reject state at some point, or
2) The machine never halts (never enters a halting state).
A Turing machine is said to be a decider iff it halts for every input.
The language recognized by a TM --- the set the strings that TM accepts;
If this machine is a decider, then we say that it not only recognizes,
but also decides that language.
A language is said to be Turing-recognizable iff some TM recognizes it.
A language is said to be Turing-decidable iff some TM decides it.

3.1.c2

Recognizing vs deciding
0R

-R

-R

reject

accept
-R
0 R

0R

What language does the above machine recognize?


Does it decide that language?
0R
-R

-R

accept

0R

reject
What language does the above machine recognize?
Does it decide that language?

3.1.d

Diagrams without the reject state

0L
xL

xR
-R

start

0 -,R

q2
-R

accept

q5

-L
q3

0x,R
0R

xR
0 x,R

q4

xR

The reject state can be safely removed.


It will be understood that all the missing transitions lead to the reject state.

3.1.e1

Designing TM: Example 1

Design a TM that recognizes (better decides) {#n =m | n=m}


1. Sweep left to right across the tape, testing if the input has the form
#*=*; if not, reject; if yes, go back to the beginning of the tape
and go to step 2 (state q3).
R

start

# R

q1

#L

q3

= R

q2

- L

q9

L
= L
x L
- L

3.1.e2

Designing TM: Example 1

2. Keep going to the right, replace the first you see before = with
x and go to step 3 (state q5);
if you reach = without seeing a , go to step 4 (state q6).

xR

q3

# R

q4

x,R

q5

= R

q6

3.1.e3

Designing TM: Example 1

3. Keep going to the right, pass = and then replace the first you see
with x and go to the beginning of the tape, step 2 (this can be
done by going to state q9);
if you reach a blank without seeing a , reject.

q9

x,R
R

q5

= R

q7

xR

3.1.e4

Designing TM: Example 1

4. Keep going to the right as long as you see x. If you see a before
reaching a blank, reject; otherwise accept.

xR

q6

- R

accept

3.1.e5

Designing TM: Example 1


R

start

# R

= R

q1

q2

- L

#L

xR

q3

# R

q4

q9

L
= L
x L
- L

x,R

R
x,R

q5

= R

q7

xR

xR
= R

q6

- R

accept

# =

- -

3.1.f

Designing TM: Example 2

Design a TM that decides {#n <m | n<m}


R

start

# R

< R

q1

q2

- L

#L

xR

q3

# R

q4

q9

L
< L
x L
- L

x,R

R
x,R

q5

< R

q7

xR
< R

q6

accept

xR

3.1.g

Designing TM: Example 3

Design a TM that decides {#n +m = k | n+m=k}


R

start

# R

q0

+ R

= R

q1

q2

- L

#L

xR
+R

q3

# R

q4

q9

+ L
L
= L
x L
- L

x,R

R
+R

x,R

q5

= R

q7

xR
= R

q6

- R

accept

xR

3.1.h

Designing TM: Example 4

Design a TM that decides {#n m = k | nm=k}


Step 1: Check if the string has the form #* * = * . If not, reject;
If yes, go back to the beginning of the tape, step 2.
Step 2: Find the first between # and , delete it and go to step 3;
If no such was found, go to step 5.
Step 3: Find the first between and =, delete it and go to step 4;
If no such was found, go to the beginning of the tape, restoring on
the way back all the deleted between and =, and go to step 2.
Step 4: Find the first after =, delete it, go back to , and go to step 3;
If no such was found before seeing a blank, reject.
Step 5: Go right past = ; if no is found there before reaching a blank,
Accept; otherwise reject.
#

3.1.i

Testing whether the head is at the beginning of the tape

Design a fragment of a TM that, from a state Beg?, goes to a state Yes or No,
depending on whether you are at the beginning of the tape or not,
without corrupting the contents of the tape.
Tape alphabet: {x1,,xn}
1.
2.

Add a new tape symbol: $

Read the current symbol, remember it, type $, and move left;
Read the current symbol.
If it is $, restore the remembered symbol and go to Yes.
If it is not $, move right, restore the remembered symbol and go to No.
a1

x1,,xn R

b1

$ x1,L

x1,R

x1 $,L

Beg?

Yes

Temp

xn $,L
$ xn,L

an

x1,,xn R

xn,R

bn

No

3.1.j

Implementing the go to the beginning of the tape


operation

Design a fragment of a TM that, from a state Go to the beginning,


goes to the beginning of the tape and state Done.
Move left and test if you are at the beginning of the tape.
If yes, go to Done.
If not, repeat the step.
No

Go to the beginning

Done

Beg?

Yes

3.1.k

Shifting tape contents

Design a fragment of a TM that types 0 in the current cell and shifts the
(old) contents of the remaining tape one cell to the right.
Assume the tape alphabet is {0,1,-}.
1. Read the current symbol, remember it, type 0 and move right.
2. While the current symbol is not -, remember it, type the
previously remembered symbol and move right.
3. Once you see a blank, type
the remembered symbol
and you are done.
Shift

Done

3.1.l

A TM for the element distinctness problem

Design a TM that decides the language


E={#x1#x2##xn | each xi{0,1} and xixj for each ij}
See page 135 for a description of such a TM

# x 1 # x 2 # x 3 # x 4 # x5
x1
#

x2
1

x3
0

x4
0