eng
Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics
1868-8969
2021-08-18
78:1
78:16
10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2021.78
article
Syntactic Minimization Of Nondeterministic Finite Automata
Myers, Robert S. R.
1
Urbat, Henning
2
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3265-7168
London, United Kingdom
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Nondeterministic automata may be viewed as succinct programs implementing deterministic automata, i.e. complete specifications. Converting a given deterministic automaton into a small nondeterministic one is known to be computationally very hard; in fact, the ensuing decision problem is PSPACE-complete. This paper stands in stark contrast to the status quo. We restrict attention to subatomic nondeterministic automata, whose individual states accept unions of syntactic congruence classes. They are general enough to cover almost all structural results concerning nondeterministic state-minimality. We prove that converting a monoid recognizing a regular language into a small subatomic acceptor corresponds to an NP-complete problem. The NP certificates are solutions of simple equations involving relations over the syntactic monoid. We also consider the subclass of atomic nondeterministic automata introduced by Brzozowski and Tamm. Given a deterministic automaton and another one for the reversed language, computing small atomic acceptors is shown to be NP-complete with analogous certificates. Our complexity results emerge from an algebraic characterization of (sub)atomic acceptors in terms of deterministic automata with semilattice structure, combined with an equivalence of categories leading to succinct representations.
https://drops.dagstuhl.de/storage/00lipics/lipics-vol202-mfcs2021/LIPIcs.MFCS.2021.78/LIPIcs.MFCS.2021.78.pdf
Algebraic language theory
Nondeterministic automata
NP-completeness