Algorithms for testing equivalence of finite automata, with a grading tool for JFLAP

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Title: Algorithms for testing equivalence of finite automata, with a grading tool for JFLAP
Author: Norton, Daphne
Abstract: A wide variety of algorithms can be used to determine the equivalence of two Deterministic Finite Automata (DFAs) and/or Nondeterministic Finite Automata (NFAs). This project focuses on three key areas: 1. A detailed discussion of several algorithms that can be used to prove the equivalence of two DFAs (and/or NFAs, since every NFA has an equivalent DFA), with an analysis of the time complexity involved in each case. 2. Modifications to a few of these algorithms to produce a 'witness' string if the two automata are not equivalent. This string is accepted by one of the automata, but not by the other, so it serves as a clear demonstration of why the two automata are inequivalent. 3. A Java implementation of a couple of efficient algorithms to prove equivalence. The code is designed specially to work with JFLAP, the Java Formal Language and Automata Package. JFLAP is a popular program from Duke University which can be used to demonstrate and manipulate models such as finite automata. JFLAP software allows students to enter finite automata via an easy-to-use GUI, and this project incorporates functionality so that instructors can grade homework assignments and/or allow students to receive detailed feedback in the form of a witness
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Date: 2009

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