Algorithmic homeomorphism of 3-manifolds as a corollary of geometrization
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Algorithmic homeomorphism of 3-manifolds as a corollary of geometrization

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In this paper we prove two results, one folklore and the other new. The folklore result, which goes back to Thurston, is that the geometrization theorem implies that there is an algorithm for the homeomorphism problem for closed, oriented, triangulated 3-manifolds. We give a self-contained proof, with several variations at each stage, that uses only the statement of the geometrization theorem, basic hyperbolic geometry, and old results from combinatorial topology and computer science. For this result, we do not rely on normal surface theory, methods from geometric group theory, nor methods used to prove geometrization. The new result is that the homeomorphism problem is elementary recursive, i.e., that the computational complexity is bounded by a bounded tower of exponentials. This result makes essential use of normal surface theory, Mostow rigidity, and improved bounds on the computational complexity of solving algebraic equations.

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