state machine


Definition: A model of computation consisting of a (possibly infinite) set of states, a set of start states, an input alphabet, and a transition function which maps input symbols and current states to a next state. Usually understood to be a finite state machine.

Generalization (I am a kind of ...)
model of computation.

Specialization (... is a kind of me.)
finite state machine.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 12 December 2005.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "state machine", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed. 12 December 2005. (accessed TODAY) Available from: