Finite Automata

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Finite automata, also known as state machines or FSM (finite-state machines), are a mathematical model of computing used in the design of computer programs and sequential logic circuits. They are not actual machines, but abstract machines that may be in any one of some limited number of states at one time.

More plainly, a finite automaton (singular) is a machine that can transition from one state to another; it reacts with a predefined sequence of behaviors when it encounters a certain event. For example, a simple finite automaton would be a subway station turnstile: when you swipe your fare, it changes from a locked state to an unlocked state, and you can then walk through it.

Electronics terms, Logic, Model, Turing machines