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The Golden TicketP, NP, and the Search for the Impossible$
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Lance Fortnow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175782

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175782.001.0001

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Proving P ≠ NP

Proving P ≠ NP

(p.109) Chapter 7 Proving P ≠ NP
The Golden Ticket

Lance Fortnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on a few of the ideas that people have tried to solve the P versus NP problem. These have not panned out to anything close to a solution to the problem. To prove P ≠ NP one needs to show that no algorithm, even those that have not been discovered yet, can solve some NP problem. It is simply very difficult to show that something cannot be done. However, it is not a logically impossible task. The only known serious approach to the P versus NP problem today is due to Ketan Mulmuley from the University of Chicago. He has shown how solving some difficult problems in a mathematical field called algebraic geometry may lead to a proof that P ≠ NP. However, resolving these algebraic geometry problems will require mathematical techniques far beyond what is available today.

Keywords:   P versus NP problem, algorithms, NP problem, Ketan Mulmuley, algebraic geometry

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