# Not-so-nearly-minimal-size program inference (preliminary report)

## Abstract

Freivalds defined an acceptable programming system independent criterion for learning programs for functions in which the final programs were required to be both correct and “nearly” minimal size, i.e, within a computable function of being purely minimal size. Kinber showed that this parsimony requirement on final programs severely limits learning power. Nonetheless, in, for example, scientific inference, parsimony is considered highly desirable. A *limcomputable function* is (by definition) one computable by a procedure allowed to change its mind finitely many times about its output. Investigated is the possibility of assuaging somewhat the limitation on learning power resulting from requiring parsimonious final programs by use of criteria which require the final, correct programs to be “not-so-nearly” minimal size, e.g.; to be within a lim-computable function of actual minimal size. It is interestingly shown that some parsimony in the final program is thereby retained, yet learning power strictly increases. Also considered are lim-computable functions as above but for which notations for constructive ordinals are used to bound the number of mind changes allowed regarding the output. This is a variant of an idea introduced by Freivalds and Smith. For this ordinal complexity bounded version of lim-computability, the power of the resultant learning criteria form strict infinite hierarchies intermediate between the computable and the lim-computable cases. Many open questions are also presented.

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