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Dexter C. Kozen

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Automata and Computability This textbook provides undergraduate students with an introduction to the basic theoretical models of computability. Students who have already some experience with elementary discrete mathematics will find this a well-paced first course. Plenty of exercises are provided, ranging from the easy to the challenging. Full description

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Definitely an excellent book 5 février 2002
Par G. Avvinti - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book has been a great surprise to me. Initially I thought that in about 300 pages (excluding homeworks and exercises) I could not find all I could need for an Automata, Languages and Computation course. I was wrong, definitely. The book is coincise, but also rich and precise.
The material is very well chosen, and the writing stile is directly thought with students in mind. Kozen has a pluri-annual experience in teaching at Cornell University, and it seems he has developed an effective style of communication with students, that's perfectly reflected in his books.
Some important topics are present in this book and not in both Sipser and Hopcroft-Ullman. If you need (as I did) to learn about Myhill-Nerode Relations and Theorem, this book features the best account I've seen (the other, much shorter, reference can be found in the first editon of Hopcroft-Ullman but not in the second one !).
A nice shot of the Lambda-calculus is also featured, and this too lacks in the other two books.
The organization in lectures is a very good idea when studying. Lectures are carefully cut and self-contained, so that you can organize your time using this unit, and wherever you choose to stop a study session, you always stop at correct boundary of a topics.
As a further (and important) note, the notation used is very clear and elegant. As soon as you get used with it (very soon since its clarity) it becomes very stimulating. Don't understimate this value, since many books feature too-hard-to-follow notations, or no notation at all. Both of which cases are to be avoided, INMH.
I have used other books for my course, starting from both the editions of the Hopcroft and Ullman, but one way or the other I found myself always with this book (and Sipser's) in my hands.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very good as a textbook 4 avril 2003
Par Jeffery Zhang - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the textbook I used for my Honors Introduction to Theory of Computing course which was taught by Kozen. This book is very well organized, each chapter corresponds exactly to one lecture, so it's almost like a collection of lecture notes in a sense. This book (and the course it's based on) provides a very good introduction to general theoretical aspects of computing. It's divided mainly into 3 sections, each covering a third of the course. First Finite Automata, then Context Free Languages and Pushdown Automata, finally Turing machines and general computability. It covers the basics very well, sprinkled with some optional lectures on more advanced topics such as Kleene Algebra (which is a favorite of Kozen)
This course mainly deals with notions and models of computation, a previous reviewer noted that it doesn't include NP-completeness. There is a reason for this, because at Cornell University, this course is the first in a sequence, the second of which covers algorithms and complexity issues. That course covers NP-completeness and all the basic algorithm techniques.
For those readers in a similar situation as the previous reviewer, it's difficult to find a more simple introduction to computer theory. I thought DFAs were the easiest part of the book/course, DFAs are the simplest models of computation, you can think of counting fingers as a form of DFA. I'm confident that anyone that can count will be able to understand the explanations of DFA in this book.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Clear and Concise 4 décembre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is an excellent introduction to the subject. There is also material that can be taught to students more advanced than the beginning undergraduate. We used this book for one half (roughly) of a first-year grad course on foundations of computer science.
The greatest strengths of the book are (1) its exceptionally clear writing. (2) Excellent collection of problems (with hints and solutions to a subset of these).
This book follows the "standard" approach to the introduction of notion of effective computability in present day CS curriculum, namely the Turing Machine and formal grammars approach. There is however, thankfully, some introductory material on other formalisms like lamda calculus etc.
One topic whose omission is striking is NP Completeness. It is kind of dissappointing to find a treatment of that subject missing from this wonderful text. I really find it hard to believe that Kozen does not deal with this topic in his under grad class. Considering he has a chapter on something as profound and complicated as Godel's Incompleteness Theorem (and its proof), the omission of NPC is inexplicable. (which is why I give it only 4 stars). Personally, I would have liked to see a good discussion of the Post's Correspondence problem too.
In our class, we kept going back to Sipser's book on this subject, which is an outstanding book in its own right - having the best qualities of Kozen's book and The Book by Hofcroft & Ullman, for more advanced material.
All in all, I think this is a great book for its intended audience.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An absolute choice to learn automata theory 26 juillet 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
The presentation is in an exceptional style of self contained lectures instead of chapters. Apart from the basic lectures, 11 supplementary lectures that cover special topics in the subject and several exercises make the book an IDEAL TEXT. I feel this recently published text is an excellent and an absolute choice to learn automata theory bit by bit, lecture by lecture!
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A canonical text of theoretical CS 18 mars 2000
Par Jonathan Wolfson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Written with an audience of one class in mind, Professor Kozen writes a book which should be read by a much larger audience-namely, by anyone looking for a solid intoduction to the foundational aspects of theoretical computer science. The order in which the material is presented is perhaps the greatest strength of this text. Kozen starts with a treatment of Finite Automata, then makes a transition into Context Free Grammars, and finally to Turing Machines and a general exploration of computational undecidability. One weakness was that there was little in the way of applications. I think that the greatest understanding of how grammars and TM's work comes from actually using these structures in computer programs. A new edition of the book would benefit greatly from more programming assignments as well as a few chapters discussing areas of where these different machines are actually utilized and how they are so efficient.
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