# Questions tagged [automata]

Questions about mathematical devices that read an input stream symbol by symbol and use a state transition map to produce an output stream, maybe using secondary storage.

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### How to prove a language is regular?

There are many methods to prove that a language is not regular, but what do I need to do to prove that some language is regular? For instance, if I am given that $L$ is regular, how can I prove that ...
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### NFA with exponential number of states when determinized

How can I build an example of a regular language where the minimal DFA has $2^n$ states and the minimal NFA has $n$ states? Obviously the DFA's state-set should contain all subsets of the the NFA's ...
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### Determining capabilities of a min-heap (or other exotic) state machines

See the end of this post for some clarification on the definition(s) of min-heap automata. One can imagine using a variety of data structures for storing information for use by state machines. For ...
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### How to create DFA from regular expression without using NFA?

Objective is to create DFA from a regular expression and using "Regular exp>NFA>DFA conversion" is not an option. How should one go about doing that? I asked this question to our professor but he ...
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### Single-tape Turing Machines with write-protected input recognize only Regular Languages

Here is the problem: Prove that single-tape Turing Machines that cannot write on the portion of the tape containing the input string recognize only regular languages. My idea is to prove that this ...
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### In a DFA, does every state have a transition on every symbol of the alphabet?

If not, then what does it mean when for some state $q$ and some symbol $a$, $\delta(q, a)$ does not exist?
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### Convert regular expression to DFA

How do you construct a DFA from a language that has a + sign? e.g. $L = \{(a+b)\}*$
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### Is a push-down automaton with two stacks equivalent to a turing machine?

In this answer it is mentioned A regular language can be recognized by a finite automaton. A context-free language requires a stack, and a context sensitive language requires two stacks (which is ...
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### How to simulate backreferences, lookaheads, and lookbehinds in finite state automata?

I created a simple regular expression lexer and parser to take a regular expression and generate its parse tree. Creating a non-deterministic finite state automaton from this parse tree is relatively ...
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### How do I write a proof using induction on the length of the input string?

In my Computing Theory course, a lot of our problems involve using induction on the length of the input string to prove statements about finite automata. I understand mathematical induction, however ...
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### How is the rule 110 Turing complete?

I've read the wikipedia page for rule 110 in cellular automata, and I more or less know how they work (a set of rules decides where to draw the next 1 or 0). I've just read they're Turing complete, ...
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### Regular Expression for even-odd language of string

I am new to Automata theory and would to make a regular expression for "even-odd" strings, defined over $\Sigma = \{a,b\}$, which is the set of strings with even numbers of $b$'s and odd number of $a$'...
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### Are there inherently ambiguous and deterministic context-free languages?

Let us call a context-free language deterministic if and only if it can be accepted by a deterministic push-down automaton, and nondeterministic otherwise. Let us call a context-free language ...
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### Prove Queue Automaton is equivalent to Turing Machine

A deterministic queue automaton (DQA) is like a PDA except the stack is replaced by a queue. A queue is a tape allowing symbols to be written (push) on the left-end and read (pull) on the right-end. ...
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### How to prove that DFAs from NFAs can have exponential number of states?

All non-deterministic finite automata can be turned into equivalent deterministic finite automata. However, a deterministic finite automata only allows a single arrow per symbol pointing from a state. ...
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### Complement of Non deterministic Finite Automata

It's known that the complement of a DFA can be easily formed. That is, given a machine $M$, we can construct $M'$ such that $L(M') = \Sigma^* \setminus L(M)$. Is it possible to construct such a ...
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### Is $L_{half} = \{w : \text{for some } z \in L, x \in \Sigma^*, z = wx \wedge |w| = |x| \}$ regular? [duplicate]

Suppose we have some regular language $L$, then can we say that $$L_{half} = \{w : \text{for some } z \in L, x \in \Sigma^*, z = wx \wedge |w| = |x| \}$$ is also regular? I have a 'feeling' that ...
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### Why isn't it simple to count the number of words in a regular language?

Given a DFA, A, let L(A) denote the number of words A accepts. I think it's easy to calculate L(A): Translate the encoding of A into a regular expression. If the Kleene star appears anywhere in the ...
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### Smallest DFA that accepts given strings and rejects other given strings

Given two sets $A,B$ of strings over alphabet $\Sigma$, can we compute the smallest deterministic finite-state automaton (DFA) $M$ such that $A \subseteq L(M)$ and $L(M) \subseteq \Sigma^*\setminus B$?...
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### DFA for a strings whose every subsequence of length five has at least two zeroes

I have a regular language consisting of such {0,1}^k sequences, in which every subsequence of length 5 has at least two 0's in ...
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### How to prove that ε-loops are not necessary in PDAs?

In the context of our investigation of heap automata, I would like to prove that a particular variant can not accept non-context-sensitive languages. As we have no equivalent grammar model, I need a ...
9k views

### Decide whether a DFA accepts the empty language

Let $X = \{\langle M \rangle\ |\ M\text{ is a finite state machine and }L(M) = \emptyset\}$ where $\langle M \rangle$ is an encoding of the machine $M$. Is $X$ Turing decidable? Why or why not?
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### Is a Turing Machine "by definition" the most powerful machine?

I agree that a Turing Machine can do "all possible mathematical problems". But that is because it is just a machine representation of an algorithm: first do this, then do that, finally output that. ...
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### Why is non-determinism a useful concept?

An automaton is an abstract model of a digital computer. Digital computers are completely deterministic; their state at any time is uniquely predictable from the input and the initial state. When we ...
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### Does our PC work as Turing Machine?

Does our PC work as Turing Machine? The model of a Turing Machine consists of infinite memory tape, which means infinite states. But suppose if our PC has 128 MB memory and 30GB disk it would have ...
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### Is a LBA with stack more powerful than a LBA without?

Even so a linear bounded automata (LBA) is strictly more powerful than a pushdown automata (PDA), adding a stack to a LBA might make it more powerful. A LBA with stack should not be Turing complete, ...
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### How can one simulate a PDA with a FIFO queue PDA?

I'm trying to figure out how a pushdown automata (PDA), which we know uses a stack (LIFO) can be simulated by a queue (FIFO). I understand that in a regular PDA, we only have access to the top most ...
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### When generating a PDA from a CFG do I have a receiving state?

Thw Wikipedia article on Pushdown automata doesn't explain what the receiving state is for the generated PDA it just states that there is but one state.
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### Are supersets of non-regular languages also non-regular?

I have to proof that if $L_1 \subset L_2$ and $L_1$ is not regular then $L_2$ it not regular. This is my proof. Is it valid? Since $L_1$ is not regular, there does not exists a finite automata $M_1$ ...
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### Why is this true: “There are countably many Turing Machines” [duplicate]

It is said that there are uncountably many languages but only countably many Turing Machines. Could someone make this clear to me? And this doesn't mean that the set of TM is finite, yes?
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### Equivalence of Büchi automata and linear $\mu$-calculus

It's a known fact that every LTL formula can be expressed by a Büchi $\omega$-automaton. But, apparently, Büchi automata are a more powerful, expressive model. I've heard somewhere that Büchi automata ...
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### What is the difference between finite automata and finite state machines?

I have used FSM in Digital sequential Circuit designs. But I am unfamiliar with Finite Automata. Can somebody help me in understanding 'basic' difference between the two ?
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### Minimum number of states in DFA accepting strings where the numbers of a and b are divisible by X and Y respectively?

While studying automata theory a typical problem that I face is of the following type: Constructing a DFA with minimum number of states for all strings over $\{a,b\}$ which have number of $a$’s ...
Given the language $EQ_{\mathrm{dfa}} =$ $\{\langle A, B\rangle\mid A$ and $B$ are two DFAs and $L(A) = L(B)$ $\}$ Prove that $EQ_{\mathrm{dfa}}$ is decidable by testing the two DFAs on all strings ...