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Why These Automata Types?

21 pagesPublished: October 23, 2018


There are various types of automata on infinite words, differing in their acceptance conditions. The most classic ones are weak, Bu ̈chi, co-Bu ̈chi, parity, Rabin, Streett, and Muller. This is opposed to the case of automata on finite words, in which there is only one standard type. The natural question is why—Why not a single type? Why these particular types? Shall we further look into additional types?
For answering these questions, we clarify the succinctness of the different automata types and the size blowup involved in performing boolean operations on them. To this end, we show that unifying or intersecting deterministic automata of the classic ω-regular- complete types, namely parity, Rabin, Streett, and Muller, involves an exponential size blowup.
We argue that there are good reasons for the classic types, mainly in the case of nondeterministic and alternating automata. They admit good size and complexity bounds with respect to succinctness, boolean operations, and decision procedures, and they are closely connected to various logics.
Yet, we also argue that there is place for additional types, especially in the case of deterministic automata. In particular, generalized-Rabin, which was recently introduced, as well as a disjunction of Streett conditions, which we call hyper-Rabin, where the latter further generalizes the former, are interesting to consider. They may be exponentially more succinct than the classic types, they allow for union and intersection with only a quadratic size blowup, and their nonemptiness can be checked in polynomial time.

Keyphrases: automata, Boolean operations, omega-regular languages, succinctness

In: Gilles Barthe, Geoff Sutcliffe and Margus Veanes (editors). LPAR-22. 22nd International Conference on Logic for Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning, vol 57, pages 143--163

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Udi Boker},
  title     = {Why These Automata Types?},
  booktitle = {LPAR-22. 22nd International Conference on Logic for Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning},
  editor    = {Gilles Barthe and Geoff Sutcliffe and Margus Veanes},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {57},
  pages     = {143--163},
  year      = {2018},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/c3bj}}
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