Monday, April 23, 2007

Automata Step by Step

I am writing this blog for the people who are strongly interested in Automata and Formal languages or who want to start from basics of Automata.

First of all, we will discuss some very basic definitions of Automata. In Automata theory, all things are related to each other so you will notice that you need definitions of other words for understanding a particular definition. We will also see formal definitions of all terms after understanding their basic definitions. After basic and formal definitions, we will solve a lot of good “Problems of Automata” and see a lot of good examples.

Basic Definitions:

If you are a beginner, you should know what is Automata and Automata theory.

1. Automaton:
In Simple Words, An automaton (plural: automata) is a self-operating machine. The word is sometimes used to describe a robot, more specifically an autonomous robot. Used colloquially, it refers to a mindless follower.

An automaton is a mathematical model for a finite state machine (FSM). An FSM is a machine that, given an input of symbols, 'jumps' through a series of states according to a transition function (which can be expressed as a table). In the common "Mealy" variety of FSMs, this transition function tells the automaton which state to go to next given a current state and a current symbol.

2. Automata theory:

Automata theory is the study of abstract machines and problems they are able to solve. Automata theory is closely related to formal language theory as the automata are often classified by the class of formal languages they are able to recognize.

Now at this point, it is important to know about Finite state machines.

3. Finite state machine (FSM):

A finite state automaton (plural: automata) is a model of behavior composed of a finite number of states, transitions between those states, and actions.

4. States:

A state is a unique configuration of information in a program or machine. It is a concept that occasionally extends into some forms of systems programming such as lexers and parsers.

We will see the definition of parser in the next post. Above 4 definitions are enough for today. Please don’t forget to review them otherwise you will not be able to understand the next post. Read carefully. Have a good day.


brabster said...

This looks like a really neat blog. I'm needing to learn about FSAs and languages for my University course right now, so quite a timely find. From what I've learnt from books so far you seem to know your stuff!

It was quite hard to find - doesn't seem to come up on easily on Google searches - I should know, I've been searching around the topic for weeks.

Anyways, thanks a lot for taking the time to create this, I look forward to reading it all. I'll put you a link on my blog too. Not that I get much readership, but hey.

Rehab Reda said...

thanks a lot good work(Y)

anollipian said...

Great Blog , Great Info
Thank You So Much

insight said...

An extremely intuitive blog...
a lot of thanks.

Unknown said...

i like this blog. easy to understand eventhough i'm not good with english