# Kleene Star

In mathematical logic and computer science, the Kleene star (or Kleene operator or Kleene closure) is a unary operation, either on sets of strings or on sets of symbols or characters. In mathematics it is more commonly known as the free monoid construction. The application of the Kleene star to a set V is written as V*. It is widely used for regular expressions, which is the context in which it was introduced by Stephen Kleene to characterise certain automata, where it means "zero or more".

1. If V is a set of strings then V* is defined as the smallest superset of V that contains λ (the empty string) and is closed under the string concatenation operation.
2. If V is a set of symbols or characters then V* is the set of all strings over symbols in V, including the empty string.

The set V* can also be described as the set of finite-length strings that can be generated by concatenating arbitrary elements of V allowing the use of the same element multiple times. If V is a nonempty finite set then V* is a countably infinite set.

The operators are used in rewrite rules for generative grammars.

### Other articles related to "kleene star":

Free Monoid - Examples - Kleene Star
... is a finite alphabet (a set of symbols), then Σ∗ (the Kleene star of Σ) consists of all words over Σ in the sense of formal language theory ...
Kleene Star - Generalization
... Strings form a monoid with concatenation as the binary operation and λ the identity element ... The Kleene star is defined for any monoid, not just strings ...

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