On Mon, Jan 16, 2006 at 04:32:15PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> 
> Le 15-janv.-06, ? 19:04, Benjamin Udell a ?crit :
> 
> >The "dovetailer" keeps sounding like a powerful idea. I do remember 
> >that it has often been mentioned here, but somehow I failed to pick up 
> >a sense of what it was really about.
> 
> 
> The Universal Dovetailer is a program which generates and executes all 
> programs.
> Its existence is a non trivial consequence of Church thesis. Please 
> recall me to explain this in detail in one or two weeks.
> The necessity to dovetail (that is to run successiveley on the initial 
> segement of the execution never waiting any programs stop is due to the 
> fact that the always defined programs cannot be generated mechanically 
> (this can be done in the case of all programs).
> Actually I have already explain this on the list (in 2001) but the 
> escribe archive seems no more working again, and the new archive seems 
> not go enough backward in time.
> The first published paper where I define it, is "Mechanism ans Personal 
> Identity" paper:
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/M&PI_15-MAI-91.pdf
> Russell Standish attributes it (wrongly) to Schmidhuber in his book. My 

To be precise I do not attribute it to Schmidhuber, but I can see why
you came to that conclusion. I will be revising this section to make
this point clear in the final version of my book. The dovetailer algorithm is
certainly well known, and not apparently attributable to anyone, and
at the time when I wrote that part of ToN, I was unaware that the
specific application of the dovetailer to computing all possible
programs is your idea. My mistake actually is using the qualified name
"universal dovetailer" to describe a dovetailer generating all
possible strings (Schmidhuber's work), when the universal dovetailer
actually runs the programs too. I do not use the qualified name in
"Why Occam's razor".


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