Hairpin Lengthening and Shortening of Regular Languages
We consider here two formal operations on words inspired by the DNA biochemistry: hairpin lengthening introduced in  and its inverse called hairpin shortening. We study the closure of the class of regular languages under the non-iterated and iterated variants of the two operations. The main results are: although any finite number of applications of the hairpin lengthening to a regular language may lead to non-regular languages, the iterated hairpin lengthening of a regular language is always regular. As far as the hairpin shortening operation is concerned, the class of regular languages is closed under bounded and unbounded iterated hairpin shortening.
KeywordsRegular Language Iterate Version Input Word Formal Operation Iterate Variant
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