2. Any description of a pattern composed from combinations of symbols and the three operators:
Concatenation - pattern A concatenated with B matches a match for A followed by a match for B.
Or - pattern A-or-B matches either a match for A or a match for B.
Closure - zero or more matches for a pattern.
The earliest form of regular expressions (and the term itself) were invented by mathematician Stephen Cole Kleene in the mid-1950s, as a notation to easily manipulate "regular sets", formal descriptions of the behaviour of finite state machines, in regular algebra.
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