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Let $Σ =\{\textbf{[},\textbf{]},\textbf{,},\textbf{0},\textbf{1}\}$, and let $L⊂Σ^*$ be the language containing list representations of finite sets of binary strings: i.e., every string $x∈L$ is of the form $x= \textbf{[}x_0\textbf{,} x_1\textbf{,} \ldots\textbf{,} x_n\textbf{]}$, where:

  • for all $0\le i\le n$, $x_i$ is a string in $\{\textbf{0},\textbf{1}\}^*$, and

  • none of the $x_i$ repeat: if $i$ is not equal to $j$, then $x_i$ is not equal to $x_j$.

Show that $L$ is not regular.

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$\textbf{EDIT: Below is my attempt: }$

Suppose $L$ is regular.

Suppose the pumping length is n.

Consider the string $x$ = $[0^n, 0^{n-1}, ... , 0]$.

By the Pumping Lemma, $x=uvw$, where

  • $u$ = $[$

  • $v$ = $0^n$, $0^{n-1}$, $0$

  • $w$ = $]$

Then, $|v|>0$ and $|uv| \leq n$

So, $x \in L$ and $|x| \geq n$.

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Choose $k=2$.

Then, $uv^2w$ = $[0^n, 0^{n-1}, ... , 0 0^n, 0^{n-1}, ... , 0]$

Since each of the strings in x are repeated, this is a contradiction to the Pumping Lemma. Therefore, $L$ is not regular.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried using standard techniques, such as the pumping lemma? $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Dec 4 '19 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ @YuvalFilmus I am planning to do it with the pumping lemma, but I'm not sure where to even begin with this question. All I know is that the commas will somehow be repeated and that will somehow lead to a contradiction in the pumping lemma. $\endgroup$ – s.67876 Dec 4 '19 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ @s.67876 You're making a standard PL proof error. Once you pick the string to pump, you aren't allowed to pick particular strings for 𝑢,𝑣,𝑤, instead, you have to derive a contradiction for 𝑎𝑛𝑦 possible choice of those strings. $\endgroup$ – Rick Decker Dec 5 '19 at 14:48
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Suppose that the pumping length is $n$. Consider the string $$ w = [0^n,0^{n-1},\ldots,0]. $$ You take it from here.

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  • $\begingroup$ I did an attempt using this starting point. I know my formatting is a bit off, I'm still new to this. But does the proof make sense? $\endgroup$ – s.67876 Dec 4 '19 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ Using @YuvalFilmus' hint, your pumped string has to be all zeros, if you leave it out, the result repeats. $\endgroup$ – vonbrand Feb 10 at 16:02

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