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Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation (3rd Edition) Hardcover – July 9, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0321455369 ISBN-10: 0321455363 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 3 edition (July 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321455363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321455369
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Rowe on December 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to use this for a Formal Models of Computation class last semester. It's okay but can be hard to follow. It is often hard to learn from the examples. The formalism and proof gets in the way of intuition. It would make a better 2nd book or reference than a first book on the subject. I supplemented the book with Sipser and found that a much better book for learning from. Hopcroft (this book) is more mathematical in nature but the explanation is harder to follow. If you have a choice, go with Sipser.

As near as I can tell, the big improvement in the 3rd edition over the 2nd is the inclusion of some online practice problems. If your class isn't going to be using these, can you save money by going with the older copy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roger Costello on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There are much better books on the subject. Don't waste your time with this book, particularly if you want a quick, easy-to-understand introduction to the subject.

Here is my evaluation of the books on this subject:

1. (A+) Theory of Computation: Formal Languages, Automata, and Complexity by J. Glenn Brookshear

2. (A) Formal Language: A Practical Introduction by Adam Brooks Webber

3. (A-) Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines (Automatic Computation) (Automatic Computation) by Marvin Minsky

4. (B+) Computability, Complexity, and Languages, Second Edition: Fundamentals of Theoretical Computer Science (Computer Science and Scientific Computing), Second Edition: Fundamentals of Theoretical Computer Science (Computer Science and Scientific Computing) 2nd Edition ( Hardcover ) by Davis, Martin; Sigal, Ron; Weyuker, Elaine J. pulished by Morgan Kaufmann (Computer Science and Scientific Computing) by Davis, Sigal, and Weyuker

5. (B+) Automata Theory with Modern Applications by James A. Anderson

6. (C-) Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation (3rd Edition) (Addison-Wesley series in computer science) (Addison-Wesley series in computer science) by Hopcroft and Ullman
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The previous edition of this text was published in the late 70's (1979), and it was still in use today in many schools and Universities across the world. For good reason too, the authors of this text really nail down the concept of computability as we understand it today. It is very difficult to find an undergraduate curriculum that does not include a course in Computability or theory of computation, and that is certainly a change from a couple of decades ago where this type of study was left to the Graduate level curricula. What this means to the reader is that one can not be a Computer Scientist without understanding the concepts and theory behind what computability really means.

Things like Context Free languages and grammar are used readily in things like XML and its accompanying standards such as the DTD. So, it makes sense to update a classic text to include such topics and further illustrate to the reader that what once was a theory is now center stage of Computer Science and the IT industry as a whole.

The text starts with the classics such as an introduction to automata theory followed by languages. The authors have taken a more relaxed approach to the topics as the proofs are less formal and easier to follow. Plain text is usually used to informally proof the topic at hand, and the authors go into a more formal approach on selected proofs. This is definitely a better approach than the other texts in the same topic that proofs are center stage of the discussion and the reader gets lost early on in the process. The text is easy to read for students, and easy to explain for the instructors.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Renato Perini on June 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a one stop solution to your theoretical computer science needs (at least, as an introduction). If you're interested in language theory, deterministic / non deterministic finite state automata design, grammars and regular languages, computational complexity (temporal and spatial complexity), this the book for you. The formal notation used in the book is not the heaviest ever seen for this kind of subject, so it remains comprehensible (assumed it's not your first exposition to this discipline). I found it particularly interesting starting from chapter 8, when it covers turing machines, indecidibility in chapter 9 and intractability in chapter 10.
All in all, it's a good introduction to these concepts. I give it 4 stars because some proofs could have been easier, but this is not a big problem. The P and NP classes of problems are wonderfully explained. We are speaking about a book every computer scientist out there should have on his/her shelf. Those who consider this book extremely hard and difficult is because of their lack of fundamental knowledge in computer science. Of course, this is not the first book you should read on the subject. But be assured, this book will give you what it promises: a good knowledge about languages theory, indecidibility and intractability of problems.
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