Deterministic regular expressions with back-references

2019-05-03T09:06:15Z (GMT) by Dominik Freydenberger Markus L. Schmid
Most modern libraries for regular expression matching allow back-references (i. e., repetition operators) that substantially increase expressive power, but also lead to intractability. In order to find a better balance between expressiveness and tractability, we combine these with the notion of determinism for regular expressions used in XML DTDs and XML Schema. This includes the definition of a suitable automaton model, and a generalization of the Glushkov construction. We demonstrate that, compared to their non-deterministic superclass, these deterministic regular expressions with back-references have desirable algorithmic properties (i. e., efficiently solvable membership problem and some decidable problems in static analysis), while, at the same time, their expressive power exceeds that of deterministic regular expressions without back-references.