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Visibly pushdown languages
, 2004
"... Abstract. We study congruences on words in order to characterize the class of visibly pushdown languages (Vpl), a subclass of contextfree languages. For any language L, we define a natural congruence on words that resembles the syntactic congruence for regular languages, such that this congruence i ..."
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Abstract. We study congruences on words in order to characterize the class of visibly pushdown languages (Vpl), a subclass of contextfree languages. For any language L, we define a natural congruence on words that resembles the syntactic congruence for regular languages, such that this congruence is of finite index if, and only if, L is a Vpl. We then study the problem of finding canonical minimal deterministic automata for Vpls. Though Vpls in general do not have unique minimal automata, we consider a subclass of VPAs called kmodule singleentry VPAs that correspond to programs with recursive procedures without input parameters, and show that the class of wellmatched Vpls do indeed have unique minimal kmodule singleentry automata. We also give a polynomial time algorithm that minimizes such kmodule singleentry VPAs. 1 Introduction The class of visibly pushdown languages (Vpl), introduced in [1], is a subclassof contextfree languages accepted by pushdown automata in which the input letter determines the type of operation permitted on the stack. Visibly pushdown languages are closed under all boolean operations, and problems such as inclusion, that are undecidable for contextfree languages, are decidable for Vpl. Vpls are relevant to several applications that use contextfree languages suchas the modelchecking of software programs using their pushdown models [13]. Recent work has shown applications in other contexts: in modeling semanticsof effects in processing XML streams [4], in game semantics for programming languages [5], and in identifying larger classes of pushdown specifications thatadmit decidable problems for infinite games on pushdown graphs [6].