Part of the Texts in Computer Science book series (TCS)
An automaton is an abstract machine that performs a task according to a specified set of instructions. It captures the behavior of a computer through its ability to read input, perform a sequence of step-by-step operations, and produce an output. Each step in a computation sequence is called a state. Given an input string, the machine reads the first (leftmost) symbol in its initial state and the state of the machine changes. The machine reads the next symbol at the new state and changes its state again. This process continues until the last symbol of the string has been read. The final state is the state reached by the machine after reading the last symbol from the input string. The last state characterizes the input string with respect to the machine. In general, an automaton, by virtue of states, is a useful abstraction for characterizing the behavior of a broad class of software and hardware systems. An automaton itself can be classified based on different perspectives:
finite or infinite,
deterministic or nondeterministic,
accepter or transducer.
KeywordsState Machine Finite State Machine Finite Automaton Parking Space Input String
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