Edit distance for timed automata
The edit distance between two (untimed) traces is the minimum cost of a sequence of edit operations (insertion, deletion, or substitution) needed to transform one trace to the other. Edit distances have been extensively studied in the untimed setting, and form the basis for approximate matching of sequences in different domains such as coding theory, parsing, and speech recognition.
In this paper, we lift the study of edit distances from untimed languages to the timed setting. We define an edit distance between timed words which incorporates both the edit distance between the untimed words and the absolute difference in timestamps. Our edit distance between two timed words is computable in polynomial time. Further, we show that the edit distance between a timed word and a timed language generated by a timed automaton, defined as the edit distance between the word and the closest word in the language, is PSPACE-complete. While computing the edit distance between two timed automata is undecidable, we show that the approximate version, where we decide if the edit distance between two timed automata is either less than a given parameter or more than delta away from the parameter, for delta>0, can be solved in exponential space and is EXPSPACE-hard. Our definitions and techniques can be generalized to the setting of hybrid systems, and we show analogous decidability results for rectangular automata.
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IST Austria
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