Symbolic Solving of Extended Regular Expression Inequalities

Authors Matthias Keil, Peter Thiemann

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Matthias Keil
Peter Thiemann

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Matthias Keil and Peter Thiemann. Symbolic Solving of Extended Regular Expression Inequalities. In 34th International Conference on Foundation of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 29, pp. 175-186, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)


This paper presents a new algorithm for the containment problem for extended regular expressions that contain intersection and complement operators and that range over infinite alphabets. The algorithm solves extended regular expressions inequalities symbolically by term rewriting and thus avoids the translation to an expression-equivalent automaton. Our algorithm is based on Brzozowski's regular expression derivatives and on Antimirov's term-rewriting approach to check containment. To deal with large or infinite alphabets effectively, we generalize Brzozowski's derivative operator to work with respect to (potentially infinite) representable character sets.
  • Extended regular expression
  • containment
  • infinite alphabet
  • infinite character set
  • effective boolean algebra


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