Input and Connections
An automata network receives data on an input data stream, and the automata network responds to this input by either activating an STE or by reporting an event.
Input data is delivered to an automata network one byte at a time. Elements process the current input symbol. The time that elapses between the receipt of one symbol and the receipt of the next symbol is defined as one symbol cycle.
Elements in an automata network can be programmed to generate report events. These events indicate something of consequence has been detected in the input data stream.
When an STE generates a report, an ANML device records the STE that caused the report as well as the current position in the input buffer in the match buffer. This effectively provides a pointer to the sequence of symbols matched by an automaton at the last position of the match. It can be useful to the application to have this pointer at various points within the automaton, not just at an STE in the automaton.