# Kolmogorov complexity

## Measure of algorithmic complexity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In algorithmic information theory (a subfield of computer science and mathematics), the **Kolmogorov complexity** of an object, such as a piece of text, is the length of a shortest computer program (in a predetermined programming language) that produces the object as output. It is a measure of the computational resources needed to specify the object, and is also known as **algorithmic complexity**, **Solomonoff–Kolmogorov–Chaitin complexity**, **program-size complexity**, **descriptive complexity**, or **algorithmic entropy**. It is named after Andrey Kolmogorov, who first published on the subject in 1963^{[1]}^{[2]} and is a generalization of classical information theory.

The notion of Kolmogorov complexity can be used to state and prove impossibility results akin to Cantor's diagonal argument, Gödel's incompleteness theorem, and Turing's halting problem.
In particular, no program *P* computing a lower bound for each text's Kolmogorov complexity can return a value essentially larger than *P*'s own length (see section § Chaitin's incompleteness theorem); hence no single program can compute the exact Kolmogorov complexity for infinitely many texts.