A Concise Introduction to Languages and Machines by Alan P. Parkes

By Alan P. Parkes

This easy-to-follow textual content offers an available advent to the main issues of formal languages and summary machines inside of desktop technological know-how. the writer follows the profitable formulation of his first e-book in this topic, this time making those middle computing issues extra primary and delivering a very good origin for undergraduates.

The e-book is split into elements, Languages and Machines and Machines and Computation. the 1st half is worried with formal language concept, because it applies to laptop technology, while half 2 considers the computational homes of the machines in additional element. this article is intentionally non-mathematical and, anyplace attainable, hyperlinks concept to functional concerns, specifically the results for programming, computation and challenge fixing. Written in a casual type, this textbook assumes just a simple wisdom of programming at the a part of the reader.


• transparent reasons of formal notation and jargon

• huge use of examples to demonstrate algorithms and proofs

• Pictorial representations of key concepts

• Chapter-opening overviews delivering an advent and tips to every topic

• An introductory bankruptcy provides the reader with a superior overview

• End-of-chapter routines and solutions

This reader-friendly textbook has been written with undergraduates in brain and should be compatible to be used on classes protecting formal languages, computability, automata concept and computational linguistics. it's going to additionally make a very good supplementary textual content for classes on set of rules complexity and compilers.

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Additional resources for A Concise Introduction to Languages and Machines

Sample text

E. productions S ! bB Formal description of derived strings aibB, i ! the B at the end... . is expanded in Box 2. . e. bB jbC jcC ‘‘any non-zero number of bs followed by either bC or cC ’’ or ‘‘just bC ’’ or ‘‘just cC ’’ bjC, j ! the C at the end... is expanded in Box 3... e. productions C ! cC j c ‘‘any non-zero number of cs followed by one c’’ or ‘‘just one c’’ which is the same as saying ‘‘one or more cs’’ ck, k ! 1 Whichever way we write the set, one point should be made clear: the set is a set of strings formed from symbols in the alphabet fa, b, cg*, that is to say, the set is a formal language.

As we see later in the book, restricting the form of productions allowed in a grammar in certain ways simplifies certain language processing tasks, but it also reduces the sophistication of the languages that such grammars can generate. For now, we will define a scheme for classifying grammars according to the ‘‘shape’’ of their productions which will form the basis of our subsequent discussion of grammars and languages. The classification scheme is called the Chomsky hierarchy, named after Noam Chomsky, an influential American linguist.

In terms of the Chomsky hierarchy, our main interest is in context free languages, as it turns out that the syntactic structure of most programming languages is represented by context free grammars. The grammars and languages we have looked at so far in this book have all been context free (remember that any regular grammar or language is, by definition, also context free). 8 A Type 0 Grammar: Computation as Symbol Manipulation We close this chapter by considering a grammar that is more complex than our previous examples.

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