Turing machine definition by Webster's New World
Origin: after Alan Mathison Turing, its originator
Turing machine definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: After Alan Mathison Turing, who conceived such a machine.
turing machine - Computer Definition
An abstract form of a computing device that is more like a software program than a piece of hardware. Any so-called Turing machine can be implemented on an infinite number of computing devices. A Turing machine would have a read/write head that scans a one-dimensional, bidirectional tape divided into equal-sized sections inscribed with a 1 or a 0. Computation starts when the mechanism in a given “state” scans a section, erasing what it discovers there, printing a 0 or a 1, moving to an adjacent section, and going into a new state.
This behavior is determined by three key parameters: (1) the state the mechanism is in; (2) the value in the section the mechanism is scanning; and (3) a set of instructions. For decades, a number of computer scientists have proven that if conventional digital computers are considered in isolation from random external inputs (for example, a stream of bits produced by radioactive decay), then with enough time and tape, a Turing machine could calculate any function a digital computer could calculate.
See Also: Computer.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Turing Machine. [Online, May 27, 2003.] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Website. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/turing- machine/; Computing Corporation Website. http://www.securecomputing.com/index.cfm? skey=738.Webster's New World Hacker Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Bernadette Schell and Clemens Martin.Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.