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Green’s relations in deterministic finite automata

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-22, 13:18 authored by Lukas Fleischer, Manfred Kufleitner
Green’s relations are a fundamental tool in the structure theory of semigroups. They can be defined by reachability in the (right/left/twosided) Cayley graph. The equivalence classes of Green’s relations then correspond to the strongly connected components. We study the complexity of Green’s relations in semigroups generated by transformations on a finite set. We show that, in the worst case, the number of equivalence classes is in the same order of magnitude as the number of elements. Another important parameter is the maximal length of a chain of strongly connected components. Our main contribution is an exponential lower bound for this parameter. There is a simple construction for an arbitrary set of generators. However, the proof for a constant size alphabet is rather involved. We also investigate the special cases of unary and binary alphabets. All these results are extended to deterministic finite automata and their syntactic semigroups.


This work was supported by the DFG grant DI 435/5-2.



  • Science


  • Computer Science

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Theory of Computing Systems


FLEISCHER, L. and KUFLEITNER, M., 2018. Green’s relations in deterministic finite automata. Theory of Computing Systems, 63 (4), pp.666–687.


© Springer Verlag


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This journal article is part of the following topical collections: Computer Science Symposium in Russia. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Theory of Computing Systems. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00224-018-9847-4




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