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On the Succinctness of Nondeterminism

By Benjamin Aminof and Orna Kupferman


Much is known about the differences in expressiveness and succinctness between nondeterministic and deterministic automata on infinite words. Much less is known about the relative succinctness of the different classes of nondeterministic automata. For example, while the best translation from a nondeterministic Büchi automaton to a nondeterministic co-Büchi automaton is exponential, and involves determinization, no super-linear lower bound is known. This annoying situation, of not being able to use the power of nondeterminism, nor to show that it is powerless, is shared by more problems, with direct applications in formal verification. In this paper we study a family of problems of this class. The problems originate from the study of the expressive power of deterministic Büchi automata: Landweber characterizes languages L ⊆ Σ ω that are recognizable by deterministic Büchi automata as those for which there is a regular language R ⊆ Σ ∗ such that L is the limit of R; that is, w ∈ L iff w has infinitely many prefixes in R. Two other operators that induce a language of infinite words from a language of finite words are co-limit, where w ∈ L iff w has only finitely many prefixes in R, and persistent-limit, where w ∈ L iff almost all the prefixe

Year: 2008
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