The Prague Stringology Conference 2009

Loek Cleophas, Derrick G. Kourie, Tinus Strauss and Bruce W. Watson

On Minimizing Deterministic Tree Automata

We present two algorithms for minimizing deterministic frontier-to-root tree automata (DFRTAs) and compare them with their string counterparts. The presentation is incremental, starting out from definitions of minimality of automata and state equivalence, in the style of earlier algorithm taxonomies by the authors. The first algorithm is the classical one, initially presented by Brainerd in the 1960s and presented (sometimes imprecisely) in standard texts on tree language theory ever since. The second algorithm is completely new. This algorithm, essentially representing the generalization to ranked trees of the string algorithm presented by Watson and Daciuk, incrementally minimizes a DFRTA. As a result, intermediate results of the algorithm can be used to reduce the initial automaton's size. This makes the algorithm useful in situations where running time is restricted (for example, in real-time applications). We also briefly sketch how a concurrent specification of the algorithm in CSP can be obtained from an existing specification for the DFA case.

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