Non-determinism: An abstract concept in computer science studies

Michal Armoni, Judith Gal-Ezer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-determinism is one of the most important, yet abstract, recurring concepts of Computer Science. It plays an important role in Computer Science areas such as formal language theory, computability theory, distributed computing, and operating systems. We conducted a series of studies on the perception of non-determinism. In the current research, we studied and analyzed undergraduate Computer Science students' solutions to assignments in a course on automata and formal languages. Our findings shed some light on students' perceptions of non-determinism, their tendency to use non-determinism, and the characteristics of their non-deterministic solutions. This paper describes the current research and its results, and suggests several teaching applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalComputer Science Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


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