# Tree automata techniques and applications

*authors*: H Comon*year*: 1997*url*: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/b16763765d194f440950fc6c98b7722b2537690f*publisher*:*year*: 1997*abstract*: The goal of this book is to provide a textbook which presents the basics ofTree automata and several variants of tree automata which have been devised for applications in the aforementioned domains. CONTENTS 7 Acknowledgments Many people gave substantial suggestions to improve the contents of this book. These are, in alphabetic order, Introduction During the past few years, several of us have been asked many times about references on finite tree automata. On one hand, this is the witness of the liveness of this field. On the other hand, it was difficult to answer. Besides several excellent survey chapters on more specific topics, there is only one monograph devoted to tree automata by Gécseg and Steinby. Unfortunately, it is now impossible to find a copy of it and a lot of work has been done on tree automata since the publication of this book. Actually using tree automata has proved to be a powerful approach to simplify and extend previously known results, and also to find new results. For instance recent works use tree automata for application in abstract interpretation using set constraints, rewriting, automated theorem proving and program verification, databases and XML schema languages. Tree automata have been designed a long time ago in the context of circuit verification. Many famous researchers contributed to this school which was headed by A. Church in the late 50's and the early 60's: B. Trakhtenbrot, Many new ideas came out of this program. For instance the connections between automata and logic. Tree automata also appeared first in this framework, following the work of Doner, Thatcher and Wright. In the 70's many new results were established concerning tree automata, which lose a bit their connections with the applications and were studied for their own. In particular, a problem was the very high complexity of decision procedures for the monadic second order logic. Applications of tree automata to program verification revived in the 80's, after the relative failure of automated deduction in this field. It is possible to verify temporal logic formulas (which are particular Monadic Second Order Formulas) on simpler (small) programs. Automata, and in particular tree automata, also appeared as an approximation of programs on which fully automated tools can be used. New results were obtained connecting properties of programs or type systems or rewrite systems with automata. Our goal is to fill in the existing gap and to provide a textbook which presents the basics of tree automata and several variants of tree automata which have been devised for applications in the aforementioned domains. We shall discuss only finite tree automata, and the …