Prerequisites:COS210 and COS212
This module will introduce the student to the fundamentals of compiler construction. These include: the structural difference between a high-level and a von-Neumann language, the meaning of syntax and semantics and what semantics-preserving correctness means; the concepts of regular expressions, finite automata, context-free grammars in the context of programming languages; the need to construct parse-trees for given programmes; the application of data structures and algorithms for the purpose of code-analysis, code-optimisation and register-allocation; and the limits of code-analysis in terms of undecideability and the halting problem. After successful completion of the module, the student will have an understanding of the importance of compilers and will understand how to implement a compiler, in terms of its components, the scanner, parser, type checker and code-generator for a given grammar.
Data abstraction is a fundamental concept in the design and implementation of correct and efficient software.