What Is State Machine?

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If you've ever been to a state fair, you've seen a state machine. They're basically like fair rides: they take you on a journey through a variety of states, each one more exciting and thrilling than the last! When you think of a state machine, you might imagine something like that guy who works at the DMV he's got all these little pieces of paper in front of him, sorting them into different piles based on whatever criteria you give him. If you say, "I want to drive my car," he'll tell you to get in line at window 4. if you say, "I want to renew my driver's license", he'll ask you to wait over there. It's not much different from computer programs they operate using the same rules as those state-employed paper pushers. For example, let's say we're designing a program for a robot vacuum cleaner. We want it to clean our carpet for about five minutes before going back into its charging station and recharging its battery so that it can be ready for another round of vacuuming as soon as possible (because we have lots of hair). We could model our robot's behavior with a finite state machine the world is a state machine. Every action you take, thoughts, and feelings you feel result from your current state. What determines that state? It's your input and the current state. You name it in electrical engineering, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, biology, mathematics and logic! State machines are a big deal. They're used to model application behavior, software engineering, hardware design (digital systems), network protocols and compilers. State machines play such a significant role in our lives that their importance can be hard to see sometimes. If you stop for just one moment and think about how much time we spend working on improving our state machines ourselves, it should become clear just how important they are!

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