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An imperative program is analogous to how a Turing machine works?

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Since Turing machines has great influence on typical hardware architecture (Von Neumann) and both uses concept of state, is correct to say that an imperative program is analogous to how a Turing machine works?

"Computability via Turing machines gave rise to imperative programming. Computability described via λ-calculus gave rise to functional programming." — Cooper, S. B., Leeuwen, J. (2013) . Alan Turing: His Work and Impact.


"Imperative programming languages such as Fortran, Pascal etcetera as well as all the assembler languages are based on the way a Turing machine is instructed: by a sequence of statements." - Barendregt, H., Barendsen, E. (2000) . Introduction to Lambda Calculus

Asked By : Alexandre Thebaldi
Answered By : usul

At a high enough level and when contrasted with functional programming, sure. Turing machine models and imperative programs have in common that they start from an input and take a series of steps that change a state stored in memory, ending with some output.

This contrasts with lambda calculus and functional programming which generally and loosely do not have the above features.

I think reading any more into the comparison than this, or trying to take it any farther, is probably a mistake. As Yuval says, Turing machines are quite different from modern machines and program execution environments.

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