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How-Possibly Explanations in (Quantum) Computer Science

Cuffaro, Michael E. (2014) How-Possibly Explanations in (Quantum) Computer Science. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

A primary goal of quantum computer science is to find an explanation for the fact that quantum computers are more powerful than classical computers. In this paper I argue that to answer this question is to compare algorithmic processes of various kinds, and in so doing to describe the possibility spaces associated with these processes. By doing this we explain how it is possible for one process to outperform its rival. Further, in this and similar examples little is gained in subsequently asking a how-actually question. Once one has explained how-possibly there is little left to do.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cuffaro, Michael E.mike@michaelcuffaro.com
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science (postprint available on publisher's website). There are minor changes between this version and the postprint/published version, so please refer to the latter when citing.
Keywords: how-possibly; computer science; algorithms; algorithmic explanation; quantum computation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Classical
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Quantum
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Michael Cuffaro
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 15:15
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2015 15:15
Item ID: 11588
Official URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/683243
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1086/683243
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Classical
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Quantum
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2014
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11588

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