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Book title: Automata and Computability (Undergraduate Texts in Computer Science)
Automata and Computability (Undergraduate Texts in Computer Science) Technical details/features and description:
The aim of this textbook is to provide undergraduate students with an introduction to the basic theoretical models of computability, and to develop some of the model’s rich and varied structure. Students who have already some experience with elementary discrete mathematics will find this a wellpaced first course. A number of supplementary chapters introduce more advanced concepts. The first part of the book is devoted to finite automata and their properties. Pushdown automata provide a broader
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Definitely an excellent book,
This book has been a great surprise to me. Initially I thought that in about 300 pages (excluding homeworks and exercises) I could not find all I could need for an Automata, Languages and Computation course. I was wrong, definitely. The book is coincise, but also rich and precise.
The material is very well chosen, and the writing stile is directly thought with students in mind. Kozen has a pluriannual experience in teaching at Cornell University, and it seems he has developed an effective style of communication with students, that’s perfectly reflected in his books.
Some important topics are present in this book and not in both Sipser and HopcroftUllman. If you need (as I did) to learn about MyhillNerode Relations and Theorem, this book features the best account I’ve seen (the other, much shorter, reference can be found in the first editon of HopcroftUllman but not in the second one !).
A nice shot of the Lambdacalculus is also featured, and this too lacks in the other two books.
The organization in lectures is a very good idea when studying. Lectures are carefully cut and selfcontained, so that you can organize your time using this unit, and wherever you choose to stop a study session, you always stop at correct boundary of a topics.
As a further (and important) note, the notation used is very clear and elegant. As soon as you get used with it (very soon since its clarity) it becomes very stimulating. Don’t understimate this value, since many books feature toohardtofollow notations, or no notation at all. Both of which cases are to be avoided, INMH.
I have used other books for my course, starting from both the editions of the Hopcroft and Ullman, but one way or the other I found myself always with this book (and Sipser’s) in my hands.
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Very good as a textbook,
This is the textbook I used for my Honors Introduction to Theory of Computing course which was taught by Kozen. This book is very well organized, each chapter corresponds exactly to one lecture, so it’s almost like a collection of lecture notes in a sense. This book (and the course it’s based on) provides a very good introduction to general theoretical aspects of computing. It’s divided mainly into 3 sections, each covering a third of the course. First Finite Automata, then Context Free Languages and Pushdown Automata, finally Turing machines and general computability. It covers the basics very well, sprinkled with some optional lectures on more advanced topics such as Kleene Algebra (which is a favorite of Kozen)
This course mainly deals with notions and models of computation, a previous reviewer noted that it doesn’t include NPcompleteness. There is a reason for this, because at Cornell University, this course is the first in a sequence, the second of which covers algorithms and complexity issues. That course covers NPcompleteness and all the basic algorithm techniques.
For those readers in a similar situation as the previous reviewer, it’s difficult to find a more simple introduction to computer theory. I thought DFAs were the easiest part of the book/course, DFAs are the simplest models of computation, you can think of counting fingers as a form of DFA. I’m confident that anyone that can count will be able to understand the explanations of DFA in this book.
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An absolute choice to learn automata theory,
The presentation is in an exceptional style of self contained lectures instead of chapters. Apart from the basic lectures, 11 supplementary lectures that cover special topics in the subject and several exercises make the book an IDEAL TEXT. I feel this recently published text is an excellent and an absolute choice to learn automata theory bit by bit, lecture by lecture!
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