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Axiomatic approach to the theory of algorithms and relativized computability

Research paper by Alexander Shen

Indexed on: 15 Nov '18Published on: 15 Nov '18Published in: arXiv - Mathematics - Logic



Abstract

It is well known that many theorems in recursion theory can be "relativized". This means that they remain true if partial recursive functions are replaced by functions that are partial recursive relative to some fixed oracle set. Uspensky formulates three "axioms" called "axiom of computation records", "axiom of programs'" and "arithmeticity axiom". Then, using these axioms (more precisely, two first ones) he proves basic results of the recursion theory. These two axioms are true also for the class of functions that are partial recursive relative to some fixed oracle set. Also this class is closed under substitution, primitive recursion and minimization ($\mu$-operator); these (intuitively obvious) closure properties are also used in the proofs. This observation made by Uspensky explains why many theorems of recursion theory can be relativized. It turns out that the reverse statement is also true: all relativizable results follow from the first two axioms and closure properties. Indeed, \emph{every class of partial functions that is closed under substitution, primitive recursion and minimization that satisfies the first two axioms is the class of functions that are partial recursive relative to some oracle set $A$}. This is the main result of the present article.