# Finite Automata and Formal Languages

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1 Finite Automata and Formal Languages TMV026/DIT321 LP Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 Overview of today s lecture: Turing Machines Push-down Automata Overview of the Course Undecidable and Intractable Problems The theory of undecidable problems provides a guidance about what we may or may not be able to perform with a computer. One should though distinguish between undecidable problems and intractable problems, that is, problems that are decidable but require a large amount of time to solve them. In daily life, intractable problems are more common than undecidable ones. To reason about both kind of problems we need to have a basic notion of computation. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 1

2 Alan Turing ( ) Alan Turing was a mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. In the 50 he also became interested in chemistry. He took his Ph.D. in 1938 at Princeton with Alonzo Church. During his time at Princeton, he invented the concept of a computer, called a Turing Machine (TM). Turing showed that TM could perform any kind of computation. This result is known as Turing completeness. He also showed that his notion of computable was equivalent to Church s notion (that was published a bit earlier). Therefore, Church s thesis is sometimes known as Church-Turing s thesis. During the WWII he helped Britain to break the German Enigma machines. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 2 Turing Machines (1936) Theoretically, a TM is just as powerful as any other computer! Powerful here refers only to which computations a TM is capable of doing, not to how fast or efficiently it does its job. Conceptually, a TM has a finite set of states, a finite alphabet (containing a blank symbol), and a finite set of instructions. Physically, it has a head that can read, write, and move along an infinitely long tape (on both sides) that is divided into cells. Each cell contains a symbol of the alphabet (possibly the blank symbol). a 1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a 5 Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 3

3 Turing Machines: More Concretely Let represents the blank symbol and let Σ be a non-empty alphabet of symbols such that {,L,R} Σ =. Now, we define Σ = Σ { }. The read/write head of the TM is always placed over one of the cells. We said that that particular cell is being read, examined or scanned. At every moment, the TM is in a certain state q Q, where Q is a non-empty and finite set of states. In some cases, we consider a set F of final states. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 4 Turing Machines: Transition Functions In one move, the TM will: 1. Change to a (possibly) new state, 2. Replace the symbol below the head by a (possibly) new symbol, 3. Move the head to the left (denoted by L) or to the right (denoted by R). The behaviour of a TM is described by a (possibly partial) transition function δ Q Σ Q Σ {L,R} δ is such that for every q Q, a Σ there is at most one instruction. We have a deterministic TM here. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 5

4 Formal Definition Definition: A TM is a 6-tuple (Q,Σ,δ,q 0,,F) where Q is a non-empty, finite set of states, Σ is a non-empty alphabet such that {,L,R} Σ =, δ Q Σ Q Σ {L,R} is a transition function, where Σ = Σ { } q 0 Q is the initial state, is the blank symbol, / Σ, F is a non-empty, finite or accepting set of final states, F Q. Note: In some cases, the set F is not relevant. Then the formal definition of a TM is a 5-tuple. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 6 How to Compute with a TM? Before the execution starts, the tape of a TM looks as follows: a 1 a 2 a n 1 a n b 1 b m The input data is placed on the tape, if necessary separated with blanks, There are infinitely many blank to the left and to the right of the input, The head is placed on the first symbol of the input, The TM is in a special initial state q 0 Q. The machine then proceeds according to the transition function δ. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 7

5 Language Accepted by a Turing Machine Definition: Let M = (Q,Σ,δ,q 0,,F) be a TM. The language accepted by M is the set of w Σ such that when we run M with w as input data we reach a final state. Definition: The set of languages accepted by TM are called recursively enumerable languages. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 8 Example The following TM accepts the language L = {ww r w {0,1} }. Let Σ = {0,1,X,Y }, Q = {q 0,...,q 7 } and F = {q 7 }, Let a {0,1}, b {X,Y, }, and c {X,Y }. δ(q 0,0) = (q 1,X,R) δ(q 1,a) = (q 1,a,R) δ(q 1,b) = (q 2,b,L) δ(q 2,0) = (q 5,X,L) δ(q 5,a) = (q 6,a,L) δ(q 6,a) = (q 6,a,L) δ(q 0,1) = (q 3,Y,R) δ(q 3,a) = (q 3,a,R) δ(q 3,b) = (q 4,b,L) δ(q 4,1) = (q 5,Y,L) δ(q 5,c) = (q 7,c,R) δ(q 6,c) = (q 0,c,R) What happens with the input 0110? And with the input 010? Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 9

6 Result of a Turing Machine Definition: Let M = (Q,Σ,δ,q 0,,F) be a TM. We say that M halts if for certain q Q and a Σ, δ(q,a) is undefined. Whatever is written in the tape when the TM halts can be considered as the result of the computation performed by the TM. If we are only interested in the result of a computation, we can omit F from the formal definition of the TM. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 10 Examples Example: Let Σ = {0,1}, Q = {q 0 } and let δ be as follows: What does this TM do? δ(q 0,0) = (q 0,1,R) δ(q 0,1) = (q 0,0,R) Example: The execution of a TM might never stop. Consider the following set of instructions for Σ and Q as above. δ(q 0,a) = (q 0,a,R) with a Σ Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 11

7 Coding the Natural Numbers Unary Coding The number 0 is represented by the empty symbol and a number n 0 is represented with n consecutive 1 s. The number 5 is then represented as Kleene s Coding The natural number n is represented with n + 1 consecutive 1 s. The number 5 is then represented as Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 12 Turing Completeness It is the equivalent to Church s thesis but talks about Turing machines. Turing Completeness: A function is mechanically computed if and only if it can be defined as a Turing Machine. This is not a theorem and it can never be one since there is no precise way to define what it means to be mechanically computed. (The same applies to Church s thesis.) However, it is strongly believed that both statements are true since they have not been refuted in the ca. 70 years which have passed since they were first formulated. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 13

8 Variants of Turing Machines What follows are some variants, extensions and restrictions to the notion of TM that we presented, none of them modifying the power of the TM. Storage in the state, Multiple tracks in one tape Subroutines Multiple tapes Non-deterministic TM Semi-infinite tapes Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 14 Exercises 1. Write TM that compute the following functions over the Natural numbers: (a) Successor and predecessor. (b) Addition and subtraction. (c) Multiplication and exponentiation. 2. Write TM that recognise the following languages: (a) L = {0 n 1 n n > 0} (b) L = {0 n 1 n 2 n n > 0} Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 15

9 Push-down Automata Push-down automata (PDA) are essentially ǫ-nfa with the addition of a stack where to store information. The stack is needed to give the automata extra memory. The languages accepted by the PDA are exactly the CFL. See the book, sections Example: To recognise the language 0 n 1 n we proceed as follows: When reading the 0 s, we push a symbol into the stack When reading the 1 s, we pop the symbol on top of the stack We accept the language if when we finish reading the input the stack is empty. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 16 Variation of Push-down Automata DFA + stack: This kind of PDA accepts a language that is between the RL and the CFL. The languages accepted by these DPDA all have unambiguous grammars. However, not all languages that have unambiguous grammars can be accepted by these DPDA. Example: The language generated by the unambiguous grammar cannot be recognised by a DPDA. See section 6.4 in the book. S 0S0 1S1 ǫ 2 or more stacks: A PDA with at least 2 stacks is as powerful as a TM. Hence these PDA can recognise the recursively enumerable languages. See section Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 17

10 Overview of the Course We have covered/you should know chapters (8): Formal proofs: mainly proofs by induction Regular languages: DFA, NFA, ǫ-nfa, RE Algorithms to transform one formalism to the other Properties of RL Context-free languages: CFG Properties of CFL Turing machines: Just a bit Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 18 Formal Proofs We have used formal proofs along the whole course to prove our results. Mainly proofs by induction: By induction on the structure of the input argument By induction on the length of the input string By induction on the length of the derivation By induction on the height of a parse tree Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 19

11 Finite Automata and Regular Expressions FA and RE can be used to model and understand a certain situation/problem. Example: Consider the problem with the man, the wolf, the goat and the cabbage. Also the Gilbreaths principle. There we went from NFA DFA RE. They can also be used to describe (parts of) a certain language. Example: RE are used to specify and document the lexical analyser (lexer) in languages (the part of the compiler reading the input and producing the different tokens). The implementation performs the steps RE NFA DFA min DFA. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 20 Example: Using Regular Expression to Identify the Tokens Tokens = Space (Token Space)* Token = TInt TId TKey TSpec TInt = Digit Digit* Digit = TId = Letter IdChar* Letter = A... Z a... z IdChar = Letter Digit TKey = i f e l s e... TSpec = Space = ( \n \t )* Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 21

12 Regular Languages Intuitively, a language is regular when a machine needs only limited amount of memory to recognise it. We can use the Pumping lemma for RL to show that a certain language is not regular. There are many decision properties we can answer for RL. Some of them are: L? w L? L L? L = L? Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 22 Context-Free Grammars CFG play an important role in the description and design of programming languages and compilers. CFG are used to define the syntax of most programming languages. Parse trees reflect the structure of the word. In a compiler, the parser takes the input into its abstract syntax tree which also reflects the structure of the word but abstracts from some concrete features. A grammar is ambiguous if a word in the language has more than one parse tree. LL grammars are unambiguous. There are algorithms to decide if a grammar is LL(1). Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 23

13 Context-Free Languages These languages are generated by CFG. It is enough to provide a stack to a NFA in order to recognise these languages. We can use the Pumping lemma for CFL to show that a certain language is not context-free. There are only a couple of decision properties we can answer for CFL. They are: L? w L? However there are no algorithms to determine whether L L or L = L. There is no algorithm either to decide if a grammar is ambiguous or a language is inherently ambiguous. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 24 Turing Machines Simple but powerful devices. They can be though of as a DFA plus a tape which we can read and write. Define the recursively enumerated languages. It allows the study of decidability: what can or cannot be done by a computer (halting problem). Computability vs complexity theory: we should distinguish between what can or cannot be done by a computer, and the inherent difficulty of the problem (tractable (polynomial)/intractable (NP-hard) problems). Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 25

14 Church-Turing Thesis In the 1930 s there has been quite a lot of work about the nature of effectively computable (calculable) functions: Recursive functions by Stephen Kleene λ-calculus by Alonzo Church Turing machines by Alan Turing The three computational processes were shown to be equivalent by Church, Kleene, (John Barkley) Rosser (1934-6) and Alan Turing (1936-7). The Church-Turing thesis states that if an algorithm (a procedure that terminates) exists then, there is an equivalent Turing machine, recursively-definable function, or a definable λ-function for that algorithm. Lecture 14 May 19th 2011 TMV026/DIT321 Slide 26

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