A Functional Program for Regular Expressions Matching

Abstract of Invited Talk
  • Thomas Wilke
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6795)


Regular expressions [4] and tools to handle them, especially tools for regular expression matching—an early one is described in the seminal paper [5] by Ken Thompson—, are one of the major achievements of formal language and automata theory. Google counts 303,000 results for “regular expressions matching” (May 4, 2011); there are numerous command line tools for working with regular expressions such as grep; Google released a regular expression C++ library not long ago [3]; almost every programming language provides support for regular expressions; and even the text editor I am using to produce the source code of this LaTeX document has an extensive regular expression library.


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    Glushkov, V.M.: On a synthesis algorithm for abstract automata. Ukr. Matem. Zhurnal 12(2), 147–156 (1960)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
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    Google: Re2: a principled approach to regular expression matching (March 11, 2010), (press release)
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    Kleene, S.: Representation of events in nerve nets and finite automata. In: Shannon, C., McCarthy, J. (eds.) Automata Studies, pp. 3–42. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1956)Google Scholar
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    Thompson, K.: Programming techniques: Regular expression search algorithm. Commun. ACM 11, 419–422 (1968)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6. Regular expressions,

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Wilke
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für InformatikChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielGermany

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