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Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good! by Fred Hebert

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Chapter 15. Rage Against the Finite-State Machines

Finite-state machines are a central part of numerous implementations of important protocols in the industrial world. They allow programmers to represent complex procedures and sequences of events in a way that can be understood with ease.

Although the most mathematically inclined readers might know finite-state machines under stricter mathematical definitions, the finite-state machines used in Erlang are more inspired by them than a direct implementation. A typical Erlang finite-state machine can be implemented as a process running a given set of functions (their states) and receiving messages (events) that force a state transition.

They were used so frequently in the telecom world that the OTP ...

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