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# FSM - Finite State Machines a short explanation A simple...

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Finite State Machines – a short explanation A simple way to model the behavior of certain kinds of artifacts or systems is by using a finite state machine. The finite state machine is intended to capture the notion that at any point in time the system is in a particular condition, or state, where it is capable of responding to a given (sub)set of stimuli or inputs. Depending on the stimulus, it may react in a particular way and also adapt itself by changing its state to one with a different set of stimuli to which it will next respond. The system is inert to a stimulus that is made in a state which does not respond to that stimulus. The model answers such questions as “What are all the distinct states of the system?”, “To what stimuli will the system respond in a given state?”, “What state will the system be in if it is presented with a given stimulus in a given state?”, and “What sequence of inputs are needed so that the system will be in a particular state?” Informally, a finite state machine consists of a finite set of states and a finite set of directed edges. Each state is typically given a name that indicates its meaning in terms of the entity or system which the finite state machine is intended to model. One of the states, identified as the initial state, represents the modeled system at its inception. Each edge connects a single source state to a single destination state. The source and destination states may be the same. The edges represent the transitions from one system state to another. Associated with each edge is a label that consists of two parts: a condition and an action. The condition part of the label determines under what circumstances the edge may cause a transition from the source to the destination states. The action part of the label defines any reaction or response of the system when the transition occurs. While the

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