Representing and Computing Regular Languages on Massively Parallel Networks

Michael I. Miller, Badrinath Roysam, Kurt R. Smith, Joseph A. O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A general method is proposed for incorporating rule-based constraints corresponding to regular languages into stochastic inference problems, thereby allowing for a unified representation of stochastic and syntactic pattern constraints. Our approach first establishes the formal connection of rules to Chomsky grammars, and generalizes the original work of Shannon on the encoding of rule-based channel sequences to Markov chains of maximum entropy. This maximum entropy probabilistic view leads to Gibbs's representations with potentials which have their number of minima growing at precisely the exponential rate that the language of deterministic-ally constrained sequences grow. These representations are coupled to stochastic diffusion algorithms, which sample the language-constrained sequences by visiting the energy minima according to the underlying Gibbs’ probability law. The coupling to stochastic search methods yields the all-important practical result that fully parallel stochastic cellular automata may be derived to generate samples from the rule-based constraint sets. The production rules and neighborhood state structure of the language of sequences directly determines the necessary connection structures of the required parallel computing surface. Representations of this type have been mapped to the DAP-510 massively-parallel processor consisting of 1024 mesh-connected bit-serial processing elements for performing automated segmentation of electron-micrograph images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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