Varieties of Cost Functions

Authors Laure Daviaud, Denis Kuperberg, Jean-Éric Pin

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Laure Daviaud
Denis Kuperberg
Jean-Éric Pin

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Laure Daviaud, Denis Kuperberg, and Jean-Éric Pin. Varieties of Cost Functions. In 33rd Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 47, pp. 30:1-30:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


Regular cost functions were introduced as a quantitative generalisation of regular languages, retaining many of their equivalent characterisations and decidability properties. For instance, stabilisation monoids play the same role for cost functions as monoids do for regular languages. The purpose of this article is to further extend this algebraic approach by generalising two results on regular languages to cost functions: Eilenberg's varieties theorem and profinite equational characterisations of lattices of regular languages. This opens interesting new perspectives, but the specificities of cost functions introduce difficulties that prevent these generalisations to be straightforward. In contrast, although syntactic algebras can be defined for formal power series over a commutative ring, no such notion is known for series over semirings and in particular over the tropical semiring.
  • Cost functions
  • regular language
  • varieties
  • syntactic algebra


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