Parametrised second-order complexity theory with applications to the study of interval computation

Eike Neumann, Florian Steinberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We extend the framework for complexity of operators in analysis devised by Kawamura and Cook (2012) to allow for the treatment of a wider class of representations. The main novelty is to endow represented spaces of interest with an additional function on names, called a parameter, which measures the complexity of a given name. This parameter generalises the size function which is usually used in second-order complexity theory and therefore also central to the framework of Kawamura and Cook. The complexity of an algorithm is measured in terms of its running time as a second-order function in the parameter, as well as in terms of how much it increases the complexity of a given name, as measured by the parameters on the input and output side.

    As an application we develop a rigorous computational complexity theory for interval computation. In the framework of Kawamura and Cook the representation of real numbers based on nested interval enclosures does not yield a reasonable complexity theory. In our new framework this representation is polytime equivalent to the usual Cauchy representation based on dyadic rational approximation. By contrast, the representation of continuous real functions based on interval enclosures is strictly smaller in the polytime reducibility lattice than the usual representation, which encodes a modulus of continuity. Furthermore, the function space representation based on interval enclosures is optimal in the sense that it contains the minimal amount of information amongst those representations which render evaluation polytime computable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)281-304
    Number of pages24
    JournalTheoretical Computer Science
    Early online date21 May 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2020

    Bibliographical note

    © 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

    Funding: European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 731143, ANR project FastRelax(ANR-14-CE25-0018-01) of the French National Agency for Research.


    • Computable analysis
    • Interval computation
    • Second-order complexity
    • Type two complexity


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