An automaton is a self-operating machine. The word is sometimes used to describe a robot, more specifically an autonomous robot. An alternative spelling, now obsolete, is automation.
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¿-automaton
In automata theory, a branch of theoretical computer science, an ¿-automaton (or stream automaton) is a variation of finite automaton that runs on infinite, rather than finite, strings as input. Since ¿-automata do not stop, they have a variety of acceptance conditions rather than simply a set of accepting states. ¿-automata are useful for specifying behavior of systems that are not expected to terminate, such as hardware, operating systems and control systems.
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Automata theory
In theoretical computer science, automata theory is the study of mathematical objects called abstract machines or automata and the computational problems that can be solved using them. Automata comes from the Greek word ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ meaning "self-acting". The figure at right illustrates a finite state machine, which belongs to one well-known variety of automaton. This automaton consists of states (represented in the figure by circles), and transitions (represented by arrows).
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Omega language
An ¿-language is a set of infinite-length sequences of symbols.
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In theoretical computer science and formal language theory, a regular language is a formal language that can be expressed using a regular expression. Note that the "regular expression" features provided with many programming languages are augmented with features that make them capable of recognizing languages that can not be expressed by the formal regular expressions (as formally defined below).
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Nondeterministic algorithm
In computer science, a nondeterministic algorithm is an algorithm that can exhibit different behaviors on different runs, as opposed to a deterministic algorithm. There are several ways an algorithm may behave differently from run to run. A concurrent algorithm can perform differently on different runs due to a race condition. A probabalistic algorithm's behaviors depends on a random number generator.
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Formal language
In mathematics, computer science, and linguistics, a formal language is a set of strings of symbols. The alphabet of a formal language is the set of symbols, letters, or tokens from which the strings of the language may be formed; frequently it is required to be finite. The strings formed from this alphabet are called words, and the words that belong to a particular formal language are sometimes called well-formed words or well-formed formulas.
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