This paper reports on a new software platform called Vaucanson and dedicated to the computation with automata and transducers. Its main feature is the capacity of dealing with automata whose labels may belong to various algebraic structures.
The paper successively shows how Vaucanson allows to program algorithms on automata in a way which is very close to the mathematical expression of the algorithm, describes some features of the Vaucanson platform, including the fact that the very rich data structure used to implement automata does not weigh too much on the performance and finally explains the main choices of the programming design that enable to achieve both genericity and efficiency.
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