# State Machines vs. Finite State Machines: What's the Difference?

Are you curious about the difference between state machines and finite state machines? Do you want to know which one is better suited for your project? Well, you're in luck! In this article, we'll explore the differences between state machines and finite state machines, and help you decide which one is right for you.

## What is a State Machine?

A state machine is a mathematical model used to describe the behavior of a system. It consists of a set of states, transitions between those states, and actions that occur when a transition is made. State machines are used to model complex systems, such as software applications, hardware devices, and even biological systems.

State machines are often used in software development to model the behavior of an application. For example, a state machine can be used to model the behavior of a user interface, where each state represents a different screen or dialog box, and each transition represents a user action, such as clicking a button or entering text.

## What is a Finite State Machine?

A finite state machine (FSM) is a type of state machine that has a finite number of states. In other words, an FSM is a state machine that has a fixed number of possible states. FSMs are used to model systems that have a limited number of possible states, such as a traffic light or a vending machine.

FSMs are often used in software development to model the behavior of a system that has a limited number of possible states. For example, an FSM can be used to model the behavior of a game character, where each state represents a different action, such as walking, jumping, or attacking.

## What's the Difference?

The main difference between state machines and finite state machines is the number of possible states. State machines can have an infinite number of states, while FSMs have a fixed number of states.

Another difference is the complexity of the system being modeled. State machines are used to model complex systems, while FSMs are used to model simpler systems with a limited number of possible states.

Finally, state machines are more flexible than FSMs. State machines can be used to model a wide range of systems, from simple to complex, while FSMs are limited to systems with a fixed number of possible states.

## Which One is Right for You?

So, which one is right for you? Well, it depends on the system you're modeling. If you're modeling a complex system with an infinite number of possible states, then a state machine is the way to go. On the other hand, if you're modeling a simpler system with a limited number of possible states, then an FSM is the better choice.

It's important to note that both state machines and FSMs have their strengths and weaknesses. State machines are more flexible, but they can be more complex to implement. FSMs are simpler, but they're limited to systems with a fixed number of possible states.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, state machines and finite state machines are both useful tools for modeling the behavior of a system. The main difference between the two is the number of possible states. State machines are more flexible and can be used to model complex systems with an infinite number of possible states, while FSMs are simpler and are used to model systems with a limited number of possible states.

When deciding which one to use, it's important to consider the complexity of the system being modeled and the flexibility required. Both state machines and FSMs have their strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to choose the one that's right for your project.

We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between state machines and finite state machines. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

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