Acta Informatica

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 299–318 | Cite as

On the complexity of some problems concerning the use of procedures. I.

  • Karl Winklmann


We consider programming languages which allow procedures to be declared dynamically and to be passed as parameters. The influence of these two features on the decidability of “formal parameter correctness,” “formal recursivity,” and other properties relevant for debugging and optimization has been studied in [5–12]. In this paper we study the feasibility of such decision procedures in those cases where decidability has been proven. Thus this paper presents a complexity-theoretic refinement of some of the recursion-theoretic work from [5–12]. It is divided into two parts.

The main results in part I are:
  1. 1)

    Detecting the presence of “formally recursive” procedures in a program is an NP-complete problem (Theorem 1).

  2. 2)

    Deciding whether or not a program has the “formal most-recentproperty” is a P-space-complete problem (Theorem 2).


In part II [15] we will analyze the complexity of such problems in restricted classes of programs.


Information System Operating System Data Structure Communication Network Information Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Winklmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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