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An automaton is a simple model of a computer.

There is no formal definition for "automaton"--instead, there are various kinds of automata, each with it's own formal definition.

Generally, an automaton

An automaton that computes a Boolean (yes-no) function is called an acceptor. Acceptors may be used as the membership criterion of a language.

An automaton that produces more general output (typically a string) is called a transducer.

Copyright © 1996 by David Matuszek
Last modified Jan 29, 1996