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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: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 19 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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7 of 7 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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9 of 10 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 Denis Pankratov on May 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book from cover to cover, not because it was required by the Formal Languages course that I took, but because it is a very good read. This book gives all the necessary details in every theorem that it proves, which can be considered both a good and a bad thing, depending on your level of knowledge of the subject. I personally believe it is a good thing, because after reading any proof in this book you do not feel skeptical if it works or not, like it can be after reading a proof that skips lots of steps.

I haven't used their online resources, and I didn't do many problems from this book, because the professor teaching the course came up with problems of his own. However, from what I've seen, they have a very reasonable collection of problems suited for self-study. Every well established field has a list of standard problem, and Language Theory is no exception. The problems in this book certainly cover most of the standard ones. Please, also be aware that although this book is a good read, it is not necessary an easy read - be prepared to invest considerable amount of time into this book.

I cannot give this book 5 stars simply because I do not think it is much better than previous editions. As a matter of fact, I think it is worse. I did not have a very close look at previous editions, but I know for a fact that they were more rigorous and formal and covered more topics. As a result of that, they were less suited for teaching an introductory course, but some of the topics they studied there are really nice. From what I've heard about previous editions though, it seems that they described several open problems, that are no longer open. So I'd suggest getting this new edition, simply because it has more contemporary information.
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