Chapter

Descriptional Complexity of Formal Systems

Volume 6808 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 147-157

Remarks on Separating Words

  • Erik D. DemaineAffiliated withMIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
  • , Sarah EisenstatAffiliated withMIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
  • , Jeffrey ShallitAffiliated withSchool of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
  • , David A. WilsonAffiliated withMIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Abstract

The separating words problem asks for the size of the smallest DFA needed to distinguish between two words of length ≤ n (by accepting one and rejecting the other). In this paper we survey what is known and unknown about the problem, consider some variations, and prove several new results.