# Building a Parser II. CS164 3:30-5:00 TT 10 Evans. Prof. Bodik CS 164 Lecture 6 1

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1 Building a Parser II CS164 3:30-5:00 TT 10 Evans 1

2 Grammars Programming language constructs have recursive structure. which is why our hand-written parser had this structure, too An expression is either: number, or variable, or expression + expression, or expression - expression, or ( expression ), or 4

3 Context-free grammars (CFG) a natural notation for this recursive structure grammar for our balanced parens expressions: BalancedExpression a ( BalancedExpression ) describes (generates) strings of symbols: a, (a), ((a)), (((a))), like regular expressions but can refer to other expressions (here, BalancedExpression) and do this recursively (giving is non-finite state ) 5

4 Example: arithmetic expressions Simple arithmetic expressions: E n id ( E ) E + E E * E Some elements of this language: id n ( n ) n + id id * ( id + id ) 6

5 Symbols: Terminals and Nonterminals grammars use two kinds of symbols terminals: no rules for replacing them once generated, terminals are permanent these are tokens of our language nonterminals: to be replaced (expanded) in regular expression lingo, these serve as names of expressions start non-terminal: the first symbol to be expanded 7

6 Notational Conventions In these lecture notes, let s adopt a notation: Non-terminals are written upper-case Terminals are written lower-case or as symbols, e.g., token LPAR is written as ( The start symbol is the left-hand side of the first production 8

7 Derivations This is how a grammar generates strings: think of grammar rules (called productions) as rewrite rules Derivation: the process of generating a string 1. begin with the start non-terminal 2. rewrite the non-terminal with some of its productions 3. select a non-terminal in your current string i. if no non-terminal left, done. ii. otherwise go to step 2. 9

8 Example: derivation Grammar: E n id ( E ) E + E E * E a derivation: E rewrite E with ( E ) ( E ) rewrite E with n ( n ) this is the final string of terminals another derivation (written more concisely): E ( E ) ( E * E ) ( E + E * E ) ( n + E * E ) ( n + id * E ) ( n + id * id ) 10

9 So how do derivations help us in parsing? A program (a string of tokens) has no syntax error if it can be derived from the grammar. but so far you only know how to derive some (any) string, not how to check if a given string is derivable So how to do parsing? a naïve solution: derive all possible strings and check if your program is among them not as bad as it sounds: there are parsers that do this, kind of. Coming soon. 11

10 Decaf Example A fragment of Decaf: STMT while ( EXPR ) STMT id ( EXPR ) ; EXPR EXPR + EXPR EXPR EXPR EXPR < EXPR ( EXPR ) id 12

11 Decaf Example (Cont.) Some elements of the (fragment of) language: id ( id ) ; id ( ( ( ( id ) ) ) ) ; while ( id < id ) id ( id ) ; while ( while ( id ) ) id ( id ) ; while ( id ) while ( id ) while ( id ) id ( id ) ; Question: One of the strings is not from the language. Which one? STMT EXPR while ( EXPR ) STMT id ( EXPR ) ; EXPR + EXPR EXPR EXPR EXPR < EXPR ( EXPR ) id 13

12 CFGs (definition) A CFG consists of A set of terminal symbols T A set of non-terminal symbols N A start symbol S (a non-terminal) A set of productions: produtions are of two forms (X N) X, or X Y 1 Y 2... Y n where Y i N T 14

13 context-free grammars what is context-free? means the grammar is not context-sensitive context-sensitive gramars can describe more languages than CFGs because their productions restrict when a nonterminal can be rewritten. An example production: d N d A B c meaning: N can be rewritten into ABc only when preceded by d can be used to encode semantic checks, but parsing is hard 15

14 Now let s parse a string recursive descent parser derives all strings until it matches derived string with the input string or until it is sure there is a syntax error 16

15 Recursive Descent Parsing Consider the grammar E T + E T T int int * T ( E ) Token stream is: int 5 * int 2 Start with top-level non-terminal E Try the rules for E in order 17

16 Recursive Descent Parsing. Example (Cont.) Try E 0 T 1 + E 2 Then try a rule for T 1 ( E 3 ) But ( does not match input token int 5 Try T 1 int. Token matches. But + after T 1 does not match input token * Try T 1 int * T 2 This will match but + after T 1 will be unmatched Have exhausted the choices for T 1 Backtrack to choice for E 0 18

17 Recursive Descent Parsing. Example (Cont.) Try E 0 T 1 Follow same steps as before for T 1 And succeed with T 1 int * T 2 and T 2 int With the following parse tree E 0 T 1 int 5 * T 2 int 2 19

18 A Recursive Descent Parser (2) Define boolean functions that check the token string for a match of A given token terminal bool term(token tok) { return in[next++] == tok; } A given production of S (the n th ) bool S n () { } Any production of S: bool S() { } These functions advance next 20

19 A Recursive Descent Parser (3) For production E T + E bool E 1 () { return T() && term(plus) && E(); } For production E T bool E 2 () { return T(); } For all productions of E (with backtracking) bool E() { int save = next; return (next = save, E 1 ()) (next = save, E 2 ()); } 21

20 A Recursive Descent Parser (4) Functions for non-terminal T bool T 1 () { return term(open) && E() && term(close); } bool T 2 () { return term(int) && term(times) && T(); } bool T 3 () { return term(int); } bool T() { int save = next; return (next = save, T 1 ()) (next = save, T 2 ()) (next = save, T 3 ()); } 22

21 Recursive Descent Parsing. Notes. To start the parser Initialize next to point to first token Invoke E() Notice how this simulates our backtracking example from lecture Easy to implement by hand Predictive parsing is more efficient 23

22 Recursive Descent Parsing. Notes. Easy to implement by hand An example implementation is provided as a supplement Recursive Descent Parsing But does not always work 24

23 Recursive-Descent Parsing Parsing: given a string of tokens t 1 t 2... t n, find its parse tree Recursive-descent parsing: Try all the productions exhaustively At a given moment the fringe of the parse tree is: t 1 t 2 t k A Try all the productions for A: if A BC is a production, the new fringe is t 1 t 2 t k B C Backtrack when the fringe doesn t match the string Stop when there are no more non-terminals 25

24 When Recursive Descent Does Not Work Consider a production S S a: In the process of parsing S we try the above rule What goes wrong? A left-recursive grammar has a non-terminal S S + S for some Recursive descent does not work in such cases It goes into an loop 26

25 Elimination of Left Recursion Consider the left-recursive grammar S S S generates all strings starting with a and followed by a number of Can rewrite using right-recursion S S S S 27

26 Elimination of Left-Recursion. Example Consider the grammar S 1 S 0 ( = 1 and = 0 ) can be rewritten as S 1 S S 0 S 28

27 More Elimination of Left-Recursion In general S S 1 S n 1 m All strings derived from S start with one of 1,, m and continue with several instances of 1,, n Rewrite as S 1 S m S S 1 S n S 29

28 General Left Recursion The grammar S A A S is also left-recursive because S + S This left-recursion can also be eliminated See [ASU], Section 4.3 for general algorithm 30

29 Summary of Recursive Descent Simple and general parsing strategy Left-recursion must be eliminated first but that can be done automatically Unpopular because of backtracking Thought to be too inefficient In practice, backtracking is eliminated by restricting the grammar 31

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