Acta Informatica

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 199–204 | Cite as

Amounts of nondeterminism in finite automata

  • Chandra M. R. Kintala
  • Detlef Wotschke


The amount of nondeterminism in a nondeterministic finite automaton (NFA) is measured by counting the minimal number of “guessing points” a string w has to pass through on its way to an accepting state. NFA's with more nondeterminism can achieve greater savings in the number of states over their deterministic counterparts than NFA's with less nondeterminism. On the other hand, for some nontrivial infinite regular languages a deterministic finite automaton (DFA) can already be quite succinct in the sense that NFA's need as many states (and even context-free grammars need as many nonterminals) as the minimal DFA has states.


Information System Operating System Data Structure Communication Network Information Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandra M. R. Kintala
    • 1
  • Detlef Wotschke
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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