Difference sets and computability theory

Rod Downey, Zoltán Füredi, Carl G. Jockusch, Lee A. Rubel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


For a set A of non-negative integers, let D(A) (the difference set of A) be the set of non-negative differences of elements of A. Clearly, if A is computable, then D(A) is computably enumerable. We show (as partial converses) that every simple set which contains 0 is the difference set of some computable set and that every computably enumerable set is computably isomorphic to the difference set of some computable set. Also, we prove that there is a computable set which is the difference set of the complement of some computably enumerable set but not of any computably enumerable set. Finally, we show that every arithmetic set is in the Boolean algebra generated from the computable sets by the difference operator D and the Boolean operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Pure and Applied Logic
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 1998


  • Computably enumerable
  • Difference set

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Logic

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