Automata Theory
In the lecture about theoretical computer science you have seen finite automata, pushdown automata, and Turing machines. All three of them operate on finite words. However, there are other automata models and automata that do not operate on finite words but, e.g., on infinite words, on nested words, on trees, etc. In this seminar we will have a look at automata models that you have not seen in the lecture on theoretical computer science as well as on related topics.
Course type  Seminar 

Instructors  Prof. Dr. Andreas Podelski, Dr. Matthias Heizmann 
Kickoff meeting 
Thu, October 22, 16:00 c.t., building 106, room 00007 
Presentations 
Last n Tuesdays of the semester 
Presentation language 
English 
Credits 
4 
Course Catalog  Advanced Topics in Automata Theory (Seminar) 
Process of the seminar
 You participate in the kickoff meeting, where we present the
available topics. Feel free to hand in your favorite topic in advance.
 You contact the instructors to obtain a topic. You may suggest a topic by yourself, pick one of the suggested topics, or find a topic suitable for you in a discussion with your supervisor.
 You have a meeting with your supervisor in which we discuss relevant literature and develop a very coarse sketch of your talk (deadline: four weeks before your talk).
 You write a proposal in which you explain what you are going to present in your talk, together with an abstract of your talk. You submit your abstract and your proposal via email to your supervisor (deadline: three weeks before your talk).
 Your proposal is reviewed by your supervisor and two other participants.
 You
write two reviews about other participants' proposals and send them via
email to the supervisor (deadline: one week after you received the
proposal).
 You receive reviews for your proposal (deadline: two weeks before your talk).
 You submit your slides via email to your supervisor (deadline: one week before your talk).
 You have a meeting with your supervisor in which you get feedback for your slides.
 You give a talk of 2530 minutes. The upper bound is a hard deadline.
 You attend the talks of all other participants.
Proposals of the talk
The proposal should consist of around five pages in which you explain what you are going to present in your talk. The proposal may contain:
 short overview for the reviewers (the reviewers will probably not know your topic)
 structure of your talk
 aspects of the topic that you present (why?) and ignore (why?)
 examples occurring in the talk (why these examples? Is there a running example that can be used for demonstration?)
 which definitions are presented formally? (why?), which definitions are just mentioned informally? (why?)
 which notation is used? (why?)
 which theorems are presented, which of them will be proven (why?), which proofs will be omitted (why?), will you use motivating examples in the proof?
Abstract of the talk
 The abstract consists of one paragraph that summarizes what you present in the talk.
 We will send an invitation for the seminar to all students and members of our chair. This invitation contains the abstracts of all talks.
The talk
 The goal of your talk is that the audience (bachelor and master students, familiar with computer science in general, probably no experts in the topic) has the possibility to learn something new about an interesting topic. How well you achieved this goal will determine the grade of your talk.
 In a seminar you have to show that you are able to present some topic to other people. You do not have to show how well you understood the topic for yourself. How well you understood the topic has no direct influence on your grade, but only how well you presented the topic to the audience.
 You may use and copy any source of information (but do not forget to cite it). If you think your talk is just a "remix" of existing talks tailored to your audience, you might have done a great job. But do not let yourself be fooled by wellstructured and fancy talks found in the web, each talk was prepared to a specific audience.
 If you agree, we will put your slides on this web page. Keep in mind that if you have copied images in your slides this might not be possible anymore (copyright restrictions). Of course, it will not have any effect on your grade whether we may publish your slides or not.
Review of the proposal
 Give a short summary of the talk based on the proposal (to detect misunderstandings right at the start).
 Be generous with your criticism. It is very unlikely that a student will get a bad grade because you revealed some problems in his/her proposal. However, it is very likely that a student will get a better grade if he/she was able to resolve a problem in his/her talk, thanks to your review.
 Give reasons for your criticism (e.g., "It is not possible to understand Lemma 2 because term foo was not explained."). You are also allowed to give your personal opinions, if you do so mark them as such (e.g., "Theorem 1 is very difficult to understand, in my opinion you should give an example first.").
 The following questions might be helpful to write your review
Is the proposal sufficiently well written to be readable?
Is the appearance and structure of the proposal appropriate?
Is the comprehensibility of the talk supported by relevant examples and figures?
Is the proposed structure of the talk sensible and balanced?
Are all propositions made by the author correct?
Is the line of reasoning concerning the presentation complete and accurate?
Has the author argued his/her case effectively?
Does the author use the common notation and terminology? Where would you suggest something different?
Is the schedule of the author sensible? Do you think the talk will fit into the time slot?
Grade
Your overall grade will be composed according to the following proportion.
 10% grade of your proposal
 20% grade of your reviews
 70% grade of your talk
Topics & literature
There is not a onetoone correspondence between seminar talks and topics. Several students may give talks on the same topic, but present different aspects. The suggested literature should give you a first impression of the topics. We assign the exact literature in cooperation with you after you stated your preferences for the topic.
If requested, some topics may also be presented in groups of two. Some need to be presented by at least two students because an introduction of the automata class is necessary, which is timeconsuming, but too "easy" to be its own topic. You can either note in your email that you want to work with someone, or we can propose a grouping.
Some of the papers are only available via the network of our university (e.g., via vpn). If you have some problem accessing the papers, please ask us.
Counting Automata
 Talk: Jonas
 Supervisor: Matthias Heizmann
 Reviewers: Marcel, Max
 Time slot: A
 Literature: Succinct Determinisation of Counting Automata via Sphere Construction
Automata in Program Verification
 Talk: Miriam
 Supervisor: Andreas Podelski
 Reviewers: Jonas, Max
 Time slot: C
 Literature: Proof Spaces for Unbounded Parallelism, Proofs that count, Inductive data flow graphs
Petri Nets
 Talk: Marcel, Yannick
 Supervisor: Matthias Heizmann
 Reviewers: Julian, Miriam
 Time slot: B
 Literature: Wikipedia, Applied Automata Theory (Chapter 6), Recent and simple algorithms for Petri nets, Priese, Wimmel. Petri Netze
Vector Addition Systems
 Talk: Julian
 Supervisor: Matthias Heizmann
 Reviewers: Marcel, Yannick
 Time slot: C
 Literature: Wikipedia, Vector Addition Systems With States vs. Petri Nets, Efficient Algorithms for Asymptotic Bounds on Termination Time in VASS
Automata from Linear Arithmetic Constraints
 Talk: Max
 Supervisor: Andreas Podelski
 Reviewers: Jonas, Yannick
 Time slot: A
 Literature: On the Construction of Automata from Linear Arithmetic Constraints Wolper and Boigelot (2000)
Symbolic Automata
 Literature: Website of Loris D'Antoni on Symbolic Automata
Residual Finite State Automata
 Literature: Residual Finite State Automata Denis (2001)
Learning Automata (Caveat: not related to Machine Learning!)
A Theory of Register Monitors
 Literature: A Theory of Register Monitors
Schedule
Each topic/talk is assigned to group A, group B, or group C. The deadlines for the submission of proposal/review/slides for each group are given by the table below. The time for all deadlines is 24:00.
Date  Proposal  Review  Slides  Talk 

14.01.2020 
A 

21.01.2020 
B 
A 

28.01.2020 
C 
B 
A 

04.02.2020 
C  B  A 

11.02.2020 
C  B 

18.02.2020 
C 