The state elimination algorithm is an algorithm for converting finite automata into regular expressions. It's found in many textbooks, including Sipser's Introduction to the Theory of Computation. However, I can't seem to find any references to who first invented this algorithm.

Does anyone know who invented the state elimination algorithm? Ideally, I'd like a reference to a specific paper or textbook.



According to my information the technique is by J.A. Brzozowski and E.J. McCluskey. The method is described in Signal Flow Graph Techniques for Sequential Circuit State Diagrams, IEEE Transactions on Electronic Computers, 67 - 76, 1963.

  • $\begingroup$ Looks good! This paper cites an earlier paper on the transitive closure algorithm, noting that the regular expression generated to bypass a state matches the regular expression used in that earlier algorithm. Thanks for the information! $\endgroup$ – templatetypedef May 22 '15 at 21:44

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