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# Computing a Glimpse of Randomness Cristian S. Calude, Michael J. Dinneen, and Chi-Kou Shu

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Computing a Glimpse of Randomness
Cristian S. Calude, Michael J. Dinneen, and Chi-Kou Shu

A Chaitin Omega number is the halting probability of a universal
Chaitin (self-delimiting Turing) machine. Every Omega number
is both computably enumerable (the limit of a computable,
increasing, converging sequence of rationals) and random (its
binary expansion is an algorithmic random sequence). In particular,
every Omega number is strongly noncomputable. The
aim of this paper is to describe a procedure, that combines Java
programming and mathematical proofs, to compute the exact
values of the first 64 bits of a Chaitin Omega:
0000001000000100000110001000011010001111110010111011101000010000.
Full description of programs and proofs will be given elsewhere

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### Computing a Glimpse of Randomness Cristian S. Calude, Michael J. Dinneen, and Chi-Kou Shu

1. 1. Computing a Glimpse of RandomnessCristian S. Calude, Michael J. Dinneen, and Chi-Kou ShuCONTENTS A Chaitin Omega number is the halting probability of a univer-1. Introduction sal Chaitin (self-delimiting Turing) machine. Every Omega num-2. Notation ber is both computably enumerable (the limit of a computable,3. Computably Enumerable and Random Reals increasing, converging sequence of rationals) and random (its4. The First Bits of an Omega Number binary expansion is an algorithmic random sequence). In par-5. Register Machine Programs ticular, every Omega number is strongly noncomputable. The6. Solving the Halting Problem for Programs up to 84 Bits aim of this paper is to describe a procedure, that combines Java7. The First 64 Bits of ΩU programming and mathematical proofs, to compute the exact8. Conclusions values of the first 64 bits of a Chaitin Omega:Acknowledgments 0000001000000100000110001000011010001111110010111011101000010000.References Full description of programs and proofs will be given elsewhere. 1. INTRODUCTION Any attempt to compute the uncomputable or to decide the undecidable is without doubt challenging, but hardly a new endeavor (see, for example, [Marxen and Buntrock 90], [Stewart 91], [Casti 97]). This paper describes a hy- brid procedure (which combines Java programming and mathematical proofs) for computing the exact values of the ﬁrst 64 bits of a concrete Chaitin Omega number, ΩU , the halting probability of the universal Chaitin (self- delimiting Turing) machine U , see [Chaitin 90a]. Note that any Omega number is not only noncomputable, but random, making the computing task even more demand- ing. Computing lower bounds for ΩU is not diﬃcult: we just generate more and more halting programs. Are the bits produced by such a procedure exact? Hardly. If the ﬁrst bit of the approximation happens to be 1, then yes, it is exact. However, if the provisional bit given by an approximation is 0, then, due to possible overﬂows, nothing prevents the ﬁrst bit of ΩU from being either 0 or 1. This situation extends to other bits as well. Only an initial run of 1s may give exact values for some bits of ΩU .2000 AMS Subject Classification: Primary 68Q30; Secondary 68Q17 The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 intro-Keywords: Chaitin Omega number, halting problem, algorithmic duces the basic notation. Computably enumerable (c.e.)randomness reals, random reals, and c.e. random reals are presented c A K Peters, Ltd. 1058-6458/2001 \$ 0.50 per page Experimental Mathematics 11:3, page 361
2. 2. 362 Experimental Mathematics, Vol. 11 (2002), No. 3in Section 3. Various theoretical diﬃculties preventing shortly, a machine, if C is a Turing machine process-the exact computation of any bits of an Omega number ing binary strings such that its program set (domain)are discussed in Section 4. The register machine model of P ROGC = {x ∈ Σ∗ | C(x) halts} is a preﬁx-free set ofChaitin [Chaitin 90a] is discussed in Section 5. In Section strings. Clearly, P ROGC is c.e.; conversely, every preﬁx-6 we summarize our computational results concerning the free c.e. set of strings is the domain of some machine.halting programs of up to 84 bits long for U . They give a The program-size complexity of the string x ∈ Σ∗ (rela-lower bound for ΩU which is proved to provide the exact tively to C) is HC (x) = min{|y| | y ∈ Σ∗ , C(y) = x},values of the ﬁrst 64 digits of ΩU in Section 7. where min ∅ = ∞. A major result of algorithmic informa- Chaitin [Chaitin 00b] has pointed out that the self- tion theory is the following invariance relation: We candelimiting Turing machine constructed in the preliminary eﬀectively construct a machine U (called universal) suchversion of this paper [Calude et al. 00] is universal in that for every machine C, there is a constant c > 0 (de-the sense of Turing (i.e., it is capable to simulate any pending upon U and C) such that for every x, y ∈ Σ∗self-delimiting Turing machine), but it is not universal with C(x) = y, there exists a string x ∈ Σ∗ within the sense of algorithmic information theory because U (x ) = y (U simulates C) and |x | ≤ |x|+c (the overheadthe “price” of simulation is not bounded by an additive for simulation is no larger than an additive constant). Inconstant; hence, the halting probability is not an Omega complexity-theoretic terms, HU (x) ≤ HC (x) + c. Notenumber (but a computably enumerable real with some that P ROGU is c.e., but not computable.properties close to randomness). The construction pre- If C is a machine, then ΩC = ΩP ROGC represents itssented in this paper is a self-delimiting Turing machine. halting probability. When C = U is a universal ma-Full details will appear in [Shu 03]. chine, then its halting probability ΩU is called a Chaitin Ω number, shortly, Ω number.2. NOTATIONWe will use notation that is standard in algorithmicinformation theory and assume familiarity with Tur- 3. COMPUTABLY ENUMERABLE AND RANDOM REALSing machine computations, computable and computablyenumerable (c.e.) sets (see, for example, [Bridges 94], Reals will be written in binary, so we start by looking[Odifreddi 99], [Soare 87], [Weihrauch 87]), and elemen- at random binary sequences. Two complexity-theoretictary algorithmic information theory (see, for example, deﬁnitions can be used to deﬁne random sequences[Calude 94]). (see [Chaitin 75, Chaitin 00a]): an inﬁnite sequence x By N, Q, we denote the set of nonnegative integers is Chaitin random if there is a constant c such that(natural numbers) and rationals, respectively. If S is a H(x(n)) > n−c, for every integer n > 0, or, equivalently,ﬁnite set, then #S denotes the number of elements of S. limn→∞ H(x(n)) − n = ∞. Other equivalent deﬁnitionsLet Σ = {0, 1} denote the binary alphabet. Let Σ∗ be include the Martin-L¨f [Martin-L¨f 66, Martin-L¨f 66] o o othe set of (ﬁnite) binary strings, and Σω the set of inﬁnite deﬁnition using statistical tests (Martin-L¨f random se- obinary sequences. The length of a string x is denoted by quences), the Solovay [Solovay 75] measure-theoretic de-|x|. A subset A of Σ∗ is preﬁx-free if whenever s and t ﬁnition (Solovay random sequences), and the Hertlingare in A and s is a preﬁx of t, then s = t. and Weihrauch [Hertling and Weihrauch 98] topologi- For a sequence x = x0 x1 · · · xn · · · ∈ Σω and an non- cal approach to deﬁne randomness (Hertling—Weihrauchnegative integer n ≥ 1, x(n) denotes the initial segment random sequences). Independent proofs of the equiv-of length n of x and xi denotes the ith digit of x, i.e. alence between the Martin-L¨f and Chaitin deﬁnitions ox(n) = x0 x1 · · · xn−1 ∈ Σ∗ . Due to Kraft’s inequality, have been obtained by Schnorr and Solovay, see [Chaitinfor every preﬁx-free set A ⊂ Σ∗ , ΩA = s∈A 2−|s| lies 90a, Chaitin 01]. In what follows, we will simply callin the interval [0, 1]. In fact ΩA is a probability: Pick, “random” a sequence satisfying one of the above equiva-at random using the Lebesgue measure on [0, 1], a real lent conditions. Their equivalence motivates the follow-α in the unit interval and note that the probability that ing “randomness hypothesis”([Calude 00]): A sequence issome initial preﬁx of the binary expansion of α lies in the “algorithmically random” if it satisﬁes one of the abovepreﬁx-free set A is exactly ΩA . equivalent conditions. Of course, randomness implies Following Solovay [Solovay 75, Solovay 00], we say strong noncomputability (see, for example, [Calude 94]),that C is a (Chaitin) (self-delimiting Turing) machine, but the converse is false.