Looking back at the canonical normal forms of Chapter 14, the backbone of most algebraic methods for designing switching circuits, we have to admit, the results achieved with the normal forms do not compare well with the simpler ones obtained by the graphic approach of the K-map. The advantage of the K-map lies in the use of the highly adaptive and versatile K-sets. The disadvantage of the canonical normal forms is that they express their results in inflexible and cumbersome min- or maxterms. Clearly, it is desirable to reformulate the canonical normal forms in such a way that they reflect the flexibility of the K-map. To reach this goal, however vague it has been expressed, there are a number of new concepts we need to develop. Each is covered in its own section.
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