Linked Questions

94 votes
10 answers
163k views

How to prove that a language is not regular?

We learned about the class of regular languages $\mathrm{REG}$. It is characterised by any one concept among regular expressions, finite automata and left-linear grammars, so it is easy to show that a ...
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  • 71.1k
28 votes
2 answers
42k views

How to prove that a language is context-free?

There are many techniques to prove that a language is not context-free, but how do I prove that a language is context-free? What techniques are there to prove this? Obviously, one way is to exhibit ...
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  • 143k
22 votes
6 answers
2k views

Algorithm to test whether a language specified in algebraic form is context-free

Is there an algorithm/systematic procedure to test whether a language is context-free? In other words, given a language specified in algebraic form (think of something like $L=\{a^n b^n a^n : n \in \...
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  • 143k
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are context-free languages in $a^*b^*$ closed under complement?

The context-free languages are not closed under complement, we know that. As far as I understand, context-free languages that are a subset of $a^*b^*$ for some letters $a,b$ are closed under ...
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  • 27.7k
17 votes
3 answers
8k views

Example of a non-context free language that nonetheless CAN be pumped?

So basically L satisfies the conditions of the pumping lemma for CFL's but is not a CFL (that is possible according to the definition of the lemma).
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15 votes
2 answers
715 views

Is the language of words that are unbalanced in the first half context-free?

(Practice exam question in computational models) Definition: A word $w\in \{0,1\}^*$ is called balanced if it contains the same number of $0$s as $1$s. Let $L = \{w\in \{0,1\}^*\mid |w|$ is even and ...
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11 votes
2 answers
6k views

How can I prove this language is not context-free?

I have the following language $\qquad \{0^i 1^j 2^k \mid 0 \leq i \leq j \leq k\}$ I am trying to determine which Chomsky language class it fits into. I can see how it could be made using a context-...
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  • 425
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is Python a context-free language?

From Wikipedia: Off-side_rule#Implementation, there is a statement: ...This requires that the lexer hold state, namely the current indentation level, and thus can detect changes in indentation ...
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  • 265
8 votes
1 answer
545 views

Is this language Context-Free?

Is the language $$L = \{a,b\}^* \setminus \{(a^nb^n)^n\mid n \geq1 \}$$ context-free? I believe that the answer is that it is not a CFL, but I can't prove it by Ogden's lemma or Pumping lemma.
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7 votes
1 answer
569 views

Using the Chomsky-Schutzenberger theorem to prove a language is not context-free?

The Chomsky-Schutzenberger representation theorem states that a language $L$ is context-free iff there is a homomorphism $h$, a regular language $R$, and a paired alphabet $\Sigma = T \cup \overline{T}...
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6 votes
1 answer
433 views

Why do we study closure properties of formal languages?

In automata theory we study formal languages like Regular, CF, CS and etc. and each of them have their own closure properties under union, intersection, star and etc. . I like to know, why it is ...
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  • 469
5 votes
6 answers
25k views

Are Turing machines more powerful than pushdown automata?

I've came up with a result while reading some automata books, that Turing machines appear to be more powerful than pushdown automata. Since the tape of a Turing machine can always be made to behave ...
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  • 2,143
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Pumping lemma: if you can keep pumping, what does this tell you?

Hypothetically, let's say you are using the pumping lemma for either regular or context free languages. Now using either, you come across a case that remains true despite pumping it. In this situation,...
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5 votes
2 answers
402 views

Why is the following language not context-free?

$L = \{a^n b^m | m \not= n^2 \}$ I guess I need to use Pumping Lemma for CFL in order to prove this. But I'm stuck. Assuming that $ a^n b^m = uvxyz$, we know that $v$ or $y$ can not have both $a$ ...
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  • 151
4 votes
4 answers
8k views

Prime number CFG and Pumping Lemma

So I have a problem that I'm looking over for an exam that is coming up in my Theory of Computation class. I've had a lot of problems with the pumping lemma, so I was wondering if I might be able to ...
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  • 1,105

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