I very often wonder if there is a quick reference manual that I can check the definition of each individual automaton I encountered during reading research papers. It happens there is not such a thing. What’s worse, many authors defined the same thing under different names, or use the same name for different automata. This is confusing and has to stop.

So I started an ambitious plan: to create an online wiki that gathers all the information together. Just all the known automata, their definitions, basic results, some examples, and nothing more! The wiki is called Automata Zoo, currently hosted under my main website (which badly needs an overhaul). I finished some basic security setup, and what’s important (at least for me), is that I’ve setup MathJax to work with PmWiki, so that displaying maths online sucks less. The whole site uses the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, since this is a very lenient license, facilitating the speeded dissemination and sharing of information gathered in the site. Here is a screenshot of the current site.

Automata Zoo Snapshot

I have not announced this to colleagues yet–in this early state, this may be unwise. But, just for fun, I’ve wasted my free $100 Google Adwords credit from Bluehost to have tried out some advertisements! So do not feel surprised when you see ads from Automata Zoo!

By the way, if you happen to have read this post and would like to contribute, do not hesitate to contact me to become an editor!