Dale Amon
and 1 contributors


 DMA::FSM - A simple Finite State Machine.


 use DMA::FSM;
 my $fst       = { see text for format };
 my (@lexlst)  = ("First", "Second", "Third");
 my $bb        = {};
 my @remaining = DMA::FSM::FSM ( $fst, $bb, @lexlst);




There is a single subroutine named FSM in this module. It will run a FSM machine of your choosing. It must contain, and will be started, in state 'S0'. When called, lexical analyzer functions from the state table will be passed a user supplied 'blackboard' hash on which they may read, write and share results. The arguments to FSM are:

 1.Finite State Table
 2.ptr to a user blackboard hash
 3.a list of lexemes to be analyzed

It returns a list of unused lexemes, if any. If called from within an object, it may be useful to use the self pointer for your blackboard; your lexical functions will then be able to execute instance methods as well as access ivars (instance variables).

The machine is controlled by a state table and it is pretty basic:

 my $fst = 
 {'S0' => ["E0","SAME", \&_getFirstDate,  "S1","TSTL","S2","SAME"],
  'S1' => ["E1","SAME", \&_getSecondDate, "S2","TSTL","S2","SAME"],
  'S2' => ["E2","SAME", \&_getFirstBody,  "S3","NEXT","S3","NEXT"],
  'S3' => ["D0","SAME", \&_getBody,       "S3","NEXT","S3","NEXT"],
  'D0' => ["D0","DONE", \&_noop,          "","","",""],
  'E0' => ["E0","FAIL", \&_nullFileName,  "","","",""],
  'D1' => ["D1","DONE", \&_endsAt1stDate, "","","",""],
  'D2' => ["D2","DONE", \&_noBody,        "","","",""],

State table records are divided into four parts:

 * What to do if we don't have any more lexemes (a duple).
 * A lexical analyzer to be called if we do have a lexeme.
 * What to do if the function returns true (a duple).
 * What to do if the function returns false (a duple).

The first of the three pairs (0,1) are applied if the state is entered and there are no more lexemes; the second pair (3,4) are applied if the specified lexical analyzer routine (2) returns true; the third pair (5,6) if it returns false.

The first item of each pair is the next state and the second is the action part, a keyword SAME or NEXT to indicate whether to stay with the same lexeme (SAME) or to try to get the next one (NEXT) before executing the next state. TSTL means do a NEXT if the current $lexeme is empty, otherwise keep using it like SAME. Additional keywords DONE and FAIL are termination indicators. Both will stay keep the current lexeme.

Internally the state machine is also modal; it starts in 'RUN' state. When a new state has an action part of DONE, the mode is changed to 'DONE'. The next function to be executed will be in the DONE mode; the state machine will then terminate and return any unused lexemes. Similarly, if the action part is 'FAIL', the mode becomes 'ERR' and the function of the new state is executed in that context, followed by an exit with the list of remaining lexemes.

It is up to the user to record any special failure information on their blackboard hash.

Unreachable states may be null; for instance if a lexical routine always absorbs the lexeme it is given, then it may chose to always return true or always return false. Thus the other table duple is unreachable. Likewise, an error or done state does no further branching so both the left branch (true) and right branch (false) duple are unreachable.

A lexical analyzer routine is passed two arguments: the current lexeme and a user supplied blackboard hash as noted earlier. The routine may do any tests it wishes and it may read and write anything it wants from the blackboard. It returns a list of two values, the firs of which must be true or false to differentiate between the two possible next states, a left branch or a right branch.

The second user return value is either undef or an unused portion of the input lexeme. Thus a lexeme might be passed to another (or the same) finite state machine.

For example:

 sub _GetSecondaryTitle {
  my ($lexeme, $bb) = @_;
  if ($lexeme =~ /^[^A-Z]/) {
    # Left branch, lexeme is still virgin and reusable.
    return (1, $lexeme);

  $bb->{'secondary_title'} .= $bb->{'del'} . "$lexeme";
  $bb->{'del'} = "-";
  # Right branch, lexeme all used up.
  return (0,undef);

This may mean extra states in your states diagram to limit states to a binary choice of next state. But that shouldn't be too difficult.


 use DMA::FSM;
 my $fst       = { see text for format };
 my (@lexlst)  = ("First", "Second", "Third");
 my $bb        = {};
 my @remaining = DMA::FSM::FSM ( $fst, $bb, @lexlst);


@remaining = DMA::FSM::FSM ( $fst, $bb, @lexlst)

Run a FSM machine of your choosing. Arguments are a Finite State Table, a ptr to blackboard hash and a list of lexemes to be processed by the FSM.

It returns a list of unused lexemes, if any.


 See TODO.


Fault::DebugPrinter, Fault::ErrorHandler


Dale Amon <amon@vnl.com>

4 POD Errors

The following errors were encountered while parsing the POD:

Around line 225:

Unknown directive: =over4

Around line 227:

'=item' outside of any '=over'

Around line 234:

Unknown directive: =back4

Around line 236:

You forgot a '=back' before '=head1'