I have a question regarding DFA:

Design a DFA M with alphabet $\sum = \ {\{0,1,2,R}\}$ where the states remember actual sums of the number, except that the sum is reset to 0 whenever the symbol $R$ appears. Show diagrammatically how this DFA can be constructed. What is the problem with this DFA?

One thing I do understand is that in order to remember the actual sums I would have to have the sums as states. But sums can be any number from 0 to infinity. So would the states increase exponentially while reading the input string? How can I tackle this problem?


1 Answer 1


You seem to have missed the last sentence of the question:

What is the problem with this DFA?

The problem with this DFA is that it isn't finite (so it's not really a DFA).

A DFA is a static object — the only way it interacts with the environment is by switching states.

  • $\begingroup$ But if the input is finite, then wouldn't the sum be technically finite also? $\endgroup$
    – Robur_131
    Feb 8, 2018 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ Every natural number is finite. The set of natural numbers is infinite. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 20:13

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