Course detail

Formal Languages and Compilers

FIT-IFJAcad. year: 2019/2020

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.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

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


Knowledge of discrete mathematics.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Copy of lectures (electronic and paper) (EN)
Meduna, A.: Automata and Languages. London, Springer, 2000.
Meduna, A.: Elements of Compiler Design. New York, US, Tailor & Francis, 2008.
Meduna, A.: Formal Languages and Computation. New York, Taylor & Francis, 2014.
Parsons, T. W.: Introduction to Compiler Construction. Freeman, New York, 1992.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Not applicable.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

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.
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 have to be obtained for the programming part of the project.

Language of instruction

Czech, English

Work placements

Not applicable.


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

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

In case of a serious obstacle (e.g. illness), the student should inform the faculty about that and subsequently provide the evidence of such an obstacle.

  • The midterm test takes place approximately in the middle of the semester without a spare or correction term (20 points). If student cannot attend the midterm test, (s)he can ask to derive points from the evaluation of his/her first attempt of the final exam. To enter the final exam in this case, at least 12 points from project are required.
  • To apply theoretical knowledge, students work on a team project (25 points). Continuously, the team leader checks the team's progress. In case of illness of the most team members, the team can ask the responsible teacher to extend the time for the project.
  • Finally, there is a final exam with two correction terms (55 points).

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme BIT Bachelor's, 2. year of study, winter semester, 5 credits, compulsory

  • Programme IT-BC-3 Bachelor's

    branch BIT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 5 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


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


13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


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