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Smaller solutions for the firing squad
Theoretical Computer Science (2002)
  • Amber Settle, DePaul University
  • Janos Simon, University of Chicago
In this paper we improve the bounds on the complexity of solutions to the firing squad problem, also known as the firing synchronization problem. In the firing synchronization problem we consider a one-dimensional array of n identical finite automata. Initially all automata are in the same state except for one automaton designated as the initiator for the synchronization. Our results hold for the original problem, where the initiator may be located at either endpoint, and for the variant where any one of the automata may be the initiator, called the generalized problem. In both cases, the goal is to define the set of states and transition rules for the automata so that all machines enter a special fire state simultaneously and for the first time during the final round of the computation. In our work we improve the construction for the best known minimal-time solution to the generalized problem by reducing the number of states needed and give non-minimal-time solutions to the original and generalized problem that use fewer states than the corresponding minimal-time solutions.
  • Cellular automata,
  • Firing squad synchronization problem,
  • Finite automata
Publication Date
April 1, 2002
Citation Information
Amber Settle and Janos Simon. "Smaller solutions for the firing squad" Theoretical Computer Science Vol. 276 (2002) p. 83 - 109 ISSN: 0304-3975
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