A diagram showing a very easy example, notice how the current state changes how the turnstile operates when the same input (inserting a coin, pushing on the turnstile) is given twice in a row: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Turnstile_state_machine_colored.svg
I thought about this question for a bit and came up with nothing other than:
- Reduce the scope/features of the project/software.
- Push the burden of making intelligent decisions to the user and/or supply the program with a "cheat sheet" that makes decisions easier (for example: instead of trying to write a program that drives a car using only two webcams, you could embed waypoint markers in the road every 100 ft, place special reflective markers in between lanes, and use a database of terrain maps to help the program make decisions; one would require the work of a Tesla/Newton -level genius [assuming the program can do things like (1) dodge animals, the remnants of exploded tires, etc. while taking less drastic measures for things like cardboard and plastic bottles, (2) deal with the occlusion of landmarks and indicators caused by other vehicles, (3) adjust to weather, etc. conditions, and so on] vs. someone who can write a "connect the dots" algorithm)
PS: I would classify these two methods as "cheating" because you are significantly changing the input/output of the program. In the first case, you are whittling away your program to nothing, and in the second, you are shifting much of the burden of decision-making onto whoever maintains the database and transit system.
Are there any valid ways of eliminating/reducing state?