Faculty of Information Technology, BUT

Course details

Formal Languages and Compilers

IFJ Acad. year 2017/2018 Winter semester 5 credits

This course discusses formal languages and their models. Based on these models, it explains the construction of compilers. The lectures are organized as follows: (I) Basic notions: formal languages and their models, grammars, automata; compilers. (II) Regular languages and lexical analysis: regular languages and expressions, finite automata and transducers, lexical analyzer; Lex; symbol table. (III) Context-free languages and syntax analysis: context-free grammars, pushdown automata and transducers, deterministic top-down syntax analysis (recursive descent), the essence of deterministic bottom-up syntax analysis; Yacc. (IV) Semantic analysis and code generation: semantic checks, intermediate code generation, optimization, code generation.


Language of instruction



Credit+Examination (written)

Time span

39 hrs lectures, 13 hrs projects

Assessment points

55 exam, 20 half-term test, 25 projects




Handlíř Jaroslav, Ing. (DIFS FIT BUT)
Kocman Radim, Ing. (DIFS FIT BUT)
Křena Bohuslav, Ing., Ph.D. (DITS FIT BUT)
Křivka Zbyněk, Ing., Ph.D. (DIFS FIT BUT)
Martiško Jakub, Ing. (DIFS FIT BUT)
Milkovič Marek, Ing. (DIFS FIT BUT)

Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

Fundamental familiarity with the theory of formal languages. Ability of a compiler construction.

Learning objectives

Familiarity with formal languages and their models. Grasp of compiler construction.

Prerequisite kwnowledge and skills

Knowledge of discrete mathematics.

Study literature

  • copy of lectures
  • Meduna, A.: Automata and Languages. London, Springer, 2000.
  • Meduna, A.: Elements of Compiler Design. New York, US, Tailor & Francis, 2008.

Fundamental literature

  • Parsons, T. W.: Introduction to Compiler Construction. Freeman, New York, 1992.

Syllabus of lectures

  • Formal languages.
  • Translation of languages and the structure of a compiler.
  • Regular languages and their models: regular expressions and finite automata.
  • Lexical analysis: lexical analyzer; Lex; symbol table.
  • Context-free languages and their models: context-free grammars and pushdown automata.
  • Syntax analysis: deterministic syntax analysis, FIRST and FOLLOW, LL grammars.
  • Deterministic top-down syntax analysis: recursive descent.
  • Deterministic bottom-up syntax analysis: simple precedence analysis; Yacc.
  • Semantic analysis and intermediate form generation.
  • Optimization.
  • Code generation.
  • Chomsky hierarchy and the corresponding models.
  • Remarks and summary. Preliminary discussion of the VYPe contents.

Syllabus - others, projects and individual work of students

Students in teams (3 through 4 students per a team) implement a compiler/interpreter of a simple programming language (including a documentation).

Progress assessment

There is a midterm test for 20 points without a spare or correction term. Students solve one team project during the semester (25 points) that is handed over before given deadline.

Controlled instruction

The midterm test takes place approximately in the middle of the semester without a spare or correction term (20 points). To apply theoretical knowledge, students work on a team project (25 points). Continuously, the team leader checks team's progress. Finally, there is a final exam with two correction terms (55 points).

Exam prerequisites

To be allowed to take the final written exam, the student has to obtain 20 points during the semester; out of these 20 points, at least four points has to be obtained for the programming part of the project.

Course inclusion in study plans

  • Programme IT-BC-3, field BIT, 2nd year of study, Compulsory
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