Applications of Symbolic Finite Automata

CIAA'13 |

Published by Springer

Symbolic automata theory lifts classical automata theory to rich alphabet theories. It does so by replacing an explicit alphabet with an alphabet described implicitly by a Boolean algebra. How does this lifting affect the basic algorithms that lay the foundation for modern automata theory and what is the incentive for doing this? We investigate these questions here. In our approach we use state-of-the-art constraint solving techniques for automata analysis that are both expressive and efficient, even for very large and infinite alphabets. We show how symbolic finite automata enable applications ranging from modern regex analysis to advanced web security analysis, that were out of reach with prior methods.