We discuss in this paper how connections, discovered almost forty years ago, between logics and automata can be used in practice. For such logics expressing regular sets, we have developed tools that allow efficient symbolic reasoning not attainable by theorem proving or symbolic model checking.
We explain how the logic-automaton connection is already exploited in a limited way for the case of Quantified Boolean Logic, where Binary Decision Diagrams act as automata. Next, we indicate how BDD data structures and algorithms can be extended to yield a practical decision procedure for a more general logic, namely WS1S, the Weak Second-order theory of One Successor. Finally, we mention applications of the automaton-logic connection to software engineering and program verification.