Properties of probabilistic pushdown automata

Ioan I. Macarie, Mitsunori Ogihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Properties of (unbounded-error) probabilistic as well as "probabilistic plus nondeterministic" pushdown automata and auxiliary pushdown automata are studied. These models are analogous to their counterparts with nondeterministic and alternating states. Complete characterizations in terms of well-known complexity classes are given for the classes of languages recognized by polynomial time-bounded, logarithmic space-bounded auxiliary pushdown automata with probabilistic states and with "probabilistic plus nondeterministic" states. Also, complexity lower bounds are given for the classes of languages recognized by these automata with unlimited running time. It follows that, by fixing an appropriate mode of computation, the difference between classes of languages such as P and PSPACE, NL and SAC1, PL and Diff>(#SAC1) is characterized as the difference between the number of stack symbols; that is, whether the stack alphabet contains one versus two distinct symbols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 28 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthur-Merlin games
  • Games against nature
  • Models of computation
  • Probabilistic computation
  • Pushdown automata
  • Space-bounded computation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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