Inductive Reasoning

  • Ming Li
  • Paul Vitányi
Part of the Texts in Computer Science book series (TCS)


Suppose we want to describe a given object by a finite binary string. We do not care whether the object has many descriptions; however, each description should describe but one object. From among all descriptions of an object we can take the length of the shortest description as a measure of the object's complexity. It is natural to call an object ‘simple’ if it has at least one short description, and to call it ‘complex’ if all of its descriptions are long.


Turing Machine Minimum Description Length Kolmogorov Complexity Bernoulli Process Universal Distribution 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cheriton School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Centrum voor Wiskunde en InformaticaAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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