### Finite-State Machines

Excerpts from our first class reading.
Book: The Pattern on the Stone
Chapter: Finite-State Machines

- The basic idea of a finite-state machine is to combine a look-up table, constructed using Boolean logic, with a memory device. The memory is used to store a summary of the past, which is the state of the finite-state machine.

-summary of the sequence

-When it reaches its maximum count -- say, 999-- the next advance will cause it to return to zero....I never knew if the cab had travelled 70,000 miles, 170,000 miles, or 270,000 miles, because the odometer had only 100,000 states; all those histories were equivalent as far as the odometer was concerned. This is why mathematicians often define a state as a "set of equivalent histories."

-The next state of the machine depends not only on the previous state but also on the signals that come from the input button.

-Once reason finite-state machines are so useful is that they can recognize sequences.

-Finite-state machines can also be made to recognize sequences that match certain patterns.

-As powerful as they are, finite-state machines are not capable of recognizing all types of patterns in a sequence.

My interest in these excerpts is that they are very "human." Our interactions with the world around us can be compared to finite-machine like behavior. We are the sum of all our memories, working on a "cause/effect" system of inputs and outputs. We stumble upon our own personal dramas which at times can appear complex, but when stripped down to the action without emotion, are simply a pattern of repeated sequences.

We live in developing circles.