State-based languages, such as B, Z, and VDM, can describe arbitrarily abstract systems with potentially infinite states. This generality has a drawback in that it makes reasoning less amenable to automation. Thus there exists a separate class of finite state-based specification languages.
As their name suggests, finite state-based languages represent systems as a collection of sets and transitions between states. They are often presented graphically. Examples of such languages include finite state machines ESTEREL, SDL, and STATECHARTS.
Although model-based techniques are primarily geared toward the description of sequential systems, these notations allow an explicit representation of concurrent systems. Specifications in these languages are often made of several extended finite state machines that communicate using signals or events, whereas an extended finite state machine is a finite state machine with an internal memory and transitions added that may access and change the internal memory. The internal memory is shared.
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