I am currently preparing for exam. While studying Finite Automata, i got confused. I know a DFA can have multiple accepting states, but can an NFA also have multiple accepting states?


1 Answer 1


Whenever one is in doubt about central notions, one must consult the definitions of them. You should do this yourself (I assume that you have a textbook at your disposal).

Below is Definition 1.37 from Introduction to the Theory of Computation by Michael Sipser:

A nondeterministic finite automaton is a 5-tuple $(Q,\Sigma,\Delta,q_0,F)$, where

  1. $Q$ is a finite set of states,
  2. $\Sigma$ is a finite alphabet,
  3. $\delta: Q \times \Sigma_{\epsilon} \rightarrow \mathcal{P}(Q)$ is the transition function,
  4. $q_0 \in Q$ is the start state, and
  5. $F \subseteq Q$ is the set of accept states.

Item 5 tells us that $F$ is just a set of states, which means that it can be the empty set, a singleton set or a set with several states as elements.


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