# Ackermann function  Main Article Discussion Related Articles  [?] Bibliography  [?] External Links  [?] Citable Version  [?] This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer. [edit intro]

In computability theory, the Ackermann function or Ackermann-Péter function is a simple example of a computable function that is not primitive recursive. The set of primitive recursive functions is a subset of the set of general recursive functions. Ackermann's function is an example that shows that the former is a strict subset of the latter. .

## Definition

The Ackermann function is defined recursively for non-negative integers m and n as follows::

$A(m,n)={\begin{cases}n+1&{\mbox{if }}m=0\\A(m-1,1)&{\mbox{if }}m>0{\mbox{ and }}n=0\\A(m-1,A(m,n-1))&{\mbox{if }}m>0{\mbox{ and }}n>0.\end{cases}}$ ## Rapid growth

Its value grows rapidly; even for small inputs, for example A(4,2) contains 19,729 decimal digits .

## Holomorphic extensions

The lowest Ackermann functions allow the extension to the complex values of the second argument. In particular,

$A(0,z)=z+1$ $A(1,z)=z+2=2+(n\!+\!3)-3$ $A(2,z)=2z+3=2\!\cdot \!(n\!+\!3)-3$ The 3th Ackermann function is related to the exponential on base 2 through

$A(3,z)=\exp _{2}(z\!+\!3)-3=2^{z+3}-3$ The 4th Ackermann function is related to tetration on base 2 through

$A(4,z)=\mathrm {tet} _{2}(z+3)-3$ which allows its holomorphic extension for the complex values of the second argument. 

For $n>4$ no holomorphic extension of $A(n,z)$ to complex values of $z$ is yet reported.