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top of pageABSTRACT

From the Preface (See Front Matter for full Preface)

Man has within a single generation found himself sharing the world with a strange new species: the computers and computer-like machines. Neither history, nor philosophy, nor common sense will tell us how these machines will affect us, for they do not do "work" as did machines of the Industrial Revolution. Instead of dealing with materials or energy, we are told that they handle "control" and "information" and even "intellectual processes." There are very few individuals today who doubt that the computer and its relatives are developing rapidly in capability and complexity, and that these machines are destined to play important (though not as yet fully understood) roles in society's future. Though only some of us deal directly with computers, all of us are falling under the shadow of their ever-growing sphere of influence, and thus we all need to understand their capabilities and their limitations.

It would indeed be reassuring to have a book that categorically and systematically described what all these machines can do and what they cannot do, giving sound theoretical or practical grounds for each judgment. However, although some books have purported to do this, it cannot be done for the following reasons: a) Computer-like devices are utterly unlike anything which science has ever considered---we still lack the tools necessary to fully analyze, synthesize, or even think about them; and b) The methods discovered so far are effective in certain areas, but are developing much too rapidly to allow a useful interpretation and interpolation of results. The abstract theory---as described in this book---tells us in no uncertain terms that the machines' potential range is enormous, and that its theoretical limitations are of the subtlest and most elusive sort. There is no reason to suppose machines have any limitations not shared by man.

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FRONT MATTER
PDFPDF  Front cover, Book jacket text, Title page, Preface, Acknowledgement, Table of contents
BACK MATTER
PDFPDF  Book jacket text, Back cover
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Marvin L. Minsky Marvin L. Minsky

Homepage
minskyatmedia.mit.edu
Bibliometrics: publication history
Publication years1961-2010
Publication count57
Citation Count1,757
Available for download13
Downloads (6 Weeks)64
Downloads (12 Months)1,288
Downloads (cumulative)12,719
Average downloads per article978.38
Average citations per article30.82
View colleagues of Marvin L. Minsky

top of pageREFERENCES

Note: OCR errors may be found in this Reference List extracted from the full text article. ACM has opted to expose the complete List rather than only correct and linked references.

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top of pageCITED BY

751 Citations

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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top of pagePUBLICATION

Title Computation: finite and infinite machines table of contents
Pages334
PublisherPrentice-Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA ©1967
ISBN0-13-165563-9

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top of pageTable of Contents

Computation: finite and infinite machines
Book Contents
Use the links below to download parts of the book.
Chapter 1 Physical machines and their abstract counterparts
Part I Finite-state machines
Chapter 2 Finite-state machines
Chapter 3 Neural networks. Automata made up of parts
Chapter 4 The memories of events in finite-state machines
Part II Infinite machines
Chapter 5 Computability, effective procedures, and algorithms. Infinite machines
Chapter 6 Turing machines
Chapter 7 Universal turing machines
Chapter 8 Limitations of effective computability
Chapter 9 The computable real numbers
Chapter 10 The relations between turing machines and recursive functions
Chapter 11 Models similar to digital computers
Part III Symbol-manipulation systems and computability
Chapter 12 The symbol-manipulation systems of post
Chapter 13 Post's normal-form theorem
Chapter 14 Very simple bases for computability
Chapter 15 Solutions to selected problems
Chapter 16 Suggestions for further studies and descriptor-indexed bibliography
Table of special symbols
Index and glossary

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