a hypothetical device with a set of logical rules of computation: the concept is used in mathematical studies of the computability of numbers and in the mathematical theories of automata and computers.
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British Dictionary definitions for Turing machine
a hypothetical universal computing machine able to modify its original instructions by reading, erasing, or writing a new symbol on a moving tape of fixed length that acts as its program. The concept was instrumental in the early development of computer systems
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for Turing machine
An abstract model of a computing device, used in mathematical studies of computability. A Turing machine takes a tape with a string of symbols on it as an input, and can respond to a given symbol by changing its internal state, writing a new symbol on the tape, shifting the tape right or left to the next symbol, or halting. The inner state of the Turing machine is described by a finite state machine. It has been shown that if the answer to a computational problem can be computed in a finite amount of time, then there exists an abstract Turing machine that can compute it.
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