In the field of computational complexity theory, the concept of decidability plays a crucial role in understanding the limits of computation. Decidability refers to the ability to determine whether a given problem or language can be solved by an algorithm. In this context, a language represents a set of strings over a given alphabet.

When considering the relationship between two languages, A and B, we often analyze whether one language can be reduced to another. A reduction from language A to language B is a transformation that allows us to solve instances of A using an algorithm for B. This reduction is denoted as A ≤m B, where "≤m" represents the mapping reduction.

Now, suppose we have a reduction from language A to language B, and we know that language B is decidable. This means that there exists an algorithm that can determine membership in B. The question arises: what can we conclude about the decidability of language A?

To answer this question, we need to consider the nature of the reduction. If the reduction is a polynomial-time reduction, also known as a polynomial-time many-one reduction, then we can conclude that if A ≤m B and B is decidable, then A is also decidable.

A polynomial-time reduction is a mapping reduction that can be computed in polynomial time. This means that for any input instance of A, we can transform it into an instance of B in polynomial time. Furthermore, the output of the reduction will have the same membership as the original input. In other words, if the input belongs to A, then the output belongs to B, and vice versa.

The key insight behind this conclusion lies in the fact that a polynomial-time reduction allows us to solve instances of A by first transforming them into instances of B and then applying the decider for B. Since B is decidable, we can determine whether the transformed instance of B belongs to B or not. By extension, we can also determine whether the original instance of A belongs to A or not.

To illustrate this concept, let's consider an example. Suppose we have two languages, A and B, where A represents the set of all prime numbers and B represents the set of all even numbers. We know that B is decidable since we can easily check whether a given number is even or not. Now, let's define a reduction from A to B as follows: given an input number n, we transform it into 2n. It is clear that if n is prime, then 2n is even, and if n is not prime, then 2n is not even. Therefore, we can solve instances of A by transforming them into instances of B and applying the decider for B.

If A ≤m B and B is decidable, then we can conclude that A is also decidable, provided that the reduction from A to B is a polynomial-time reduction. This result highlights the power of reduction techniques in understanding the decidability of languages and the interplay between different computational problems.

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