The systematic study of computational complexity theory has developed into one of the central and most active research areas of computer science. It has grown into a rich and exciting mathematical theory whose development is motivated and guided by computer science needs and technological advances. At the same time, it is clear that complexity theory deals with the quantitative laws of computation and reasoning, is concerned with issues and problems of direct interest to many other disciplines as well. It is quite likely that in the overall impact of computer science on our thinking, complexity theory will be recognized as one of the most influential intellectual contributions.2
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