sábado, 28 de enero de 2012

sequences and coherence

A sequence in MGGs (aka concatenation) is just an ordered set of productions (aka grammar rules). In mathematics one usually has a countable amount of ordered elements and studies the limit. However, when studying grammars and languages one usually has a finite number of grammar rules. (The language generated by a grammar is more or less its set of finite sequences.)

I like to think that the importance of sequences stems from the fact that they destroy the non-determinism of "the next rule to apply". A complexity point of view. Recall that there is another source of non-determinism in MGG: The place of the host graph in which the production is applied.

There are some novel concepts related to sequences introduced in the MGG book: Compatibility, coherence, initial graphs and congruence. Today I touch on coherence and possibly the next few posts will brush over the rest.

Productions inside a sequence are applied in order, so it can be the case that one production performs one action that troubles some production that has to be applied later. Coherence guarantees that this is not going to happen. Notice how close coherence is to applicability (the possibility to apply the sequence to some initial graph, thus deriving a new graph: the output of the sequence). In fact, it turns out that a sequence can be applied if and only if it is compatible and coherent.

Today's quote is from Jon Von Neumann, and I would like to dedicate it to my friend Álvaro Iglesias: In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

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