Hairpin Lengthening and Shortening of Regular Languages

  • Florin Manea
  • Robert Mercas
  • Victor Mitrana
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7300)


We consider here two formal operations on words inspired by the DNA biochemistry: hairpin lengthening introduced in [15] 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.


Regular Language Iterate Version Input Word Formal Operation Iterate Variant 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florin Manea
    • 1
  • Robert Mercas
    • 2
  • Victor Mitrana
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für InformatikChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Facultät für InformatikOtto-von-Guericke-Universität MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Organization and Structure of InformationUniversity School of Informatics, Polytechnic University of MadridMadridSpain

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