Questions tagged [grammars]

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30
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the most powerful kind of parser?

As a side-project, I'm writing a language using Python. I started by using a flex/bison clone called Ply, but am coming up against the edges in the power of what I can express with that style of ...
30
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2answers
2k views

Is {$a^{i}b^{j}c^{k} ~|~ i \neq j, i \neq k, j \neq k$} non-context-free?

Is the language {$a^{i}b^{j}c^{k} ~|~ i \neq j, i \neq k, j \neq k$} context-free or not? I realized that I have encountered almost all variants of this question with different conditions about the ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

Proof of the pumping lemma for context-free languages using pushdown automata

The pumping lemma for regular languages can be proved by considering a finite state automaton which recognizes the language studied, picking a string with a length greater than its number of states, ...
19
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6answers
1k views

Which models of computation can be expressed through grammars?

This is a reformulation of Are grammars programs? previous asked by Vag and with many suggestions from the commenters. In what way can a grammar be seen as specifying a model of computation? If, for ...
19
votes
1answer
957 views

Is equivalence of unambiguous context-free languages decidable?

It is well known that the equivalence problem is undecidable for general context-free languages. However, all proofs of this fact that I am aware of seem to involve some ambiguous context-free ...
15
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1answer
421 views

Lower bounds on the size of CFGs for specific finite languages

Consider the following natural question: Given a finite language $L$, what is the smallest context-free grammar generating $L$? We can make the question more interesting by specifying a sequence of ...
14
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4answers
596 views

Base-k representations of the co-domain of a polynomial - is it context-free?

In chapter 4 of Jeffrey Shallit's A Second Course in Automata Theory the following problem is listed as open: Let $p(n)$ be a polynomial with rational coefficients such that $p(n) \in \mathbb{N}$ for ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What are graph grammars?

I have found information on graph grammars and graph rewriting, but the papers that I find on it are a bit thick. Can someone give a quick overview of what graph grammars are, as well as an overview ...
13
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0answers
1k views

Is CFL strictly contained in NL?

We know that $\mathsf{REG}=\mathsf{NSPACE}(O(1))$ and $\mathsf{CSL}=\mathsf{NSPACE}(O(n))$. What is the relation of $\mathsf{CFL}$ and $\mathsf{NSPACE}(O(\log n))=\mathsf{NL}$? Is $\mathsf{CFL}$ a ...
10
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1answer
745 views

Closure of unambiguous context-free languages under pre- and postfix.

Let $L$ be a context-free language. Define $ppc(L)$ to be the pre- and postfix closure of $L$, in other words, $ppc(L)$ contains all of $L$'s prefixes and postfixes, and hence $L$ itself. My question: ...
10
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1answer
310 views

What is the state complexity of the copy language?

Let a number $n$ be given. Consider the following language $L_n = \{ \; ww \; \vert \; w \in \{0,1\}^{n} \; \}$. In words, $L_n$ is the set of copy strings of length $2n$. Consider the following ...
9
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1answer
750 views

Do there exists polynomial size CFG that describe this finite language?

Do there exists permutations $\pi_1,\pi_2$ and polynomial size (in $|w|=n$) context free grammar that describe the finite language $\{w \pi_1(w) \pi_2(w)\}$ over alphabet $\{0,1\}$? UPDATE: For one ...
9
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1answer
409 views

Chomsky Schützenberger enumeration theorem

In many textbooks the Chomsky-Schützenberger enumeration theorem is stated as that the characteristic formal power series of a language is $\mathbb N$-algebraic, if the grammar is unambigious. In some ...
9
votes
2answers
177 views

Is there higher-dimensional generative grammar?

I'm interested in computer music, where there are approaches to treat pieces of music as sentences in generative grammars or L-systems. Instead of composing, one could then specify a grammar and let ...
9
votes
1answer
205 views

Asymptotic density of ambiguous context-free grammars (CFGs)

What is the ratio of ambiguous CFGs to all CFGs? Since both sets are countably infinite the ratio is not well-defined. But what about the asymptotic density: $$\lim_{n \mapsto \infty}\frac {\# \...
9
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0answers
241 views

Complexity of a problem over acyclic context-free grammars

Let $G$ be an acyclic, context-free grammar over a fixed alphabet $\Sigma=\{a_1,\dots,a_k\}$ with the restriction (without loss of generality) that $|w|=2$ for each rule $A\to w$ in the grammar. ...
8
votes
3answers
814 views

1-way Quantum Finite Automata Example Question

I'm attempting to clarify my understanding in the example presented in Section 2.2 of 1-way Quantum Finite Automata: Strengths Weaknesses and Generalizations (this alternative link may also be useful)....
8
votes
2answers
345 views

Mistake in Wikipedia CSG example?

I'm confused about the example given in Wikipedia article about Context-sensitive grammar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Context-sensitive_grammar Disclamer: I've already changed discussed section ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

Tool for translating PDAs to CFGs

We know that all push down automata are representable using context-free grammars. Furthermore, there is an algorithm to construct a CFG from any PDA (e.g. Sipser's proof in intro to theory of ...
7
votes
1answer
231 views

Complexity of a graph-rewriting problem

I recently came across the following problem which seems to fall in the context of graph rewriting problems: Input: A graph $G=(V,E)$ with maximum degree 3, an edge $e_0 \in E$ and pairs of graphs $(...
7
votes
1answer
167 views

Is $LL(k)$ for large $k$ considered harmful? If so, why?

I took a course touching on lexer and parser theory this semester (a sizeable chunk was devoted to regexes and other FSA, but context-free grammars were covered as well). Over the course of the ...
7
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0answers
892 views

Names for the left- and right-hand sides of a grammar production?

Problem I'm writing a document where I have to describe some of the properties of a type system as they relate to a particular formal grammar. I was trying to refer to the right-hand-sides of the ...
7
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0answers
335 views

The semantics of Parsing Expression Grammars

Is there a simple and intuitive explanation for the fact that the following parsing expression (where S is the starting symbol, $...
6
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2answers
255 views

Known and described subclasses of Context-Free Grammars class

I'm looking for various researches which consider specific subclasses of Context-Free Grammar class, i.e. some specific described cases, which differ from well-known: deterministic/non-deterministic ...
6
votes
2answers
706 views

Has anyone mixed linear algebra with formal language theory in this way?

Let $G$ be the grammar: $$ S \rightarrow aAb \\ A \rightarrow aA + a + \epsilon $$ where $\epsilon$ is the empty string, $a,b$ are terminals and $S,A$ non-terminals with $S$ the start symbol. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there an example of a non context-sensitive language?

I know $CSL\subset UL$ can be demonstrated by reduction to the absurd, but I've been trying to find a language that is in Type 0 ($UL$) and not in Context-Sensitive Languages ($CSL$). Is there any ...
6
votes
3answers
442 views

Chomsky hierarchy for tree structures

I know of the Chomsky hierarchy, which concerns the expressive power of grammars to recognize languages $L \subseteq \Sigma^*$ made of words on an alphabet $\Sigma$. Is there a similar hierarchy for ...
6
votes
2answers
293 views

Finding smallest context free grammar that generates a set of sets

Are there any results known about the size of smallest context free grammar that generates a set of sets? That is, I am given an alphabet $\Sigma$ as well as a set $S \subseteq \mathbb{P}(\Sigma)$ ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Which factors make the problem of inferring the grammar difficult?

Scott Aaronson said in the paper entitled "Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity" (Please see ECCC Report: TR11-108, section 7, pp 25-31): Following the work of Kearns and ...
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Counting words of length $n$ in an inherently ambiguous CFG?

There is a polynomial-time algorithm for computing the number of words of length $n$ in an unambiguous CFG $G = (V, \Sigma, R, S)$ (via a dynamic programming approach). However, for ambiguous CFGs, ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Example of context-free tree language which can not be generated by monadic CFTG

Assuming that a context-free tree language (CFTL) is that which is generated by a context-free tree grammar (CFTG), I am looking for an example of CFTL which can not be generated by a monadic CFTG (...
6
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0answers
87 views

Reference request: transforming a grammar to Greibach normal form preserves the number of parse trees

I believe that most "natural" ways of transforming a grammar to the GNF should preserve the number of parse trees for each string. For example, Urbanek's construction from the paper "On Greibach ...
6
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0answers
641 views

Does PEG contain CFG?

Despite their considerable expressive power, all PEGs can be parsed in linear time using a tabular or memoizing parser (8). These properties strongly suggest that CFGs and PEGs define incomparable ...
5
votes
1answer
687 views

What is the importance of linear languages?

What is the point of linear languages? They appear to be an intermediate set of languages in between regular and context-free languages, but do they have any useful or nice properties that either have ...
5
votes
2answers
275 views

Why may the right hand sides in Chomsky Hierachy type 1 be larger?

I'm shaking my head because of this question, my Prof. didn't explain it. We have linear space limited automata and they have to satisfy for rules a -> b that |a| <= |b|. Why? I would have said, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Emptiness of PDA without constructing the corresponding CFG

The emptiness problem for Context free Grammars(CFG) is well studied. The same holds for the equivalence problem between Pushdown Automata (PDA) and CFGs. Therefore, given a PDA, the straightforward ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

Partially Ordered CFG

I'm looking for work about partially ordered context-free grammars. I've found one paper, which seems to simplify the problem too much (in addition to some technical mistakes, as far as I can tell). ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Different definitions of grammar complexity

It's known that there are different "kinds" of grammar complexity of language $L$ --- nonterminal complexity (minimal possible $|N|$ for grammar $(N, \Sigma, P, S)$ generating $L$), covering ...
5
votes
1answer
975 views

What is the complexity of counting parse trees?

A Counting Problem Given a CFG $G$ and a string $s$, how many distinct parse trees are there for the string $s$? An Example Instance Let's consider an example instance consisting of a CFG $G$ with ...
5
votes
1answer
496 views

Parse structure of a range concatenation grammar (RCG)

I know that with a context-free grammar, one can represent the results of a parse as a parse-tree. Specifically, each node represents one application of a production rule, is usually named for the LHS ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the relationship and difference between ambiguous grammars and non-deterministic ones?

Intuitively, I had assumed that ambiguous grammars were roughly the same as non-deterministic grammars. According to Wikipedia however, this is false: there are non-deterministic unambiguous CFGs ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Regarding proper form of production rules of Context-free tree grammars

Is it possible to describe Context-free Tree Grammar $G_t$ such that set of yields of its trees will coincide with Context-sensitive word language $a^nb^nc^n$? $\{a^nb^nc^n | n>0\}=\{Yield(t)|t\...
5
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0answers
161 views

“Context” understanding in tree grammars

The Context-Free tree grammar has rules of the form: $A\rightarrow t$ or $A(x_1,\dots,x_n)\rightarrow t_x$, where $A\in N$, $t\in T(N\cup T)$, $t_x\in T(N\cup T\cup \{x_1,\dots,x_n\})$, $T(Z)$ ...
5
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0answers
112 views

Word grammars with free variables

I am trying to find any described formalism which introduces free variables into word grammars (I emphasize here word in order not to be confused with very similar thing in tree grammars). What I ...
4
votes
3answers
306 views

Why do people bring real-life Quantum Computing to the discussion of the Church-Turing thesis?

As an undergraduate with limited understanding of QC and even the C-T thesis, I have problems figuring out why in questions such as Extended Church-Turing Thesis real-life quantum stuff is even given ...
4
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1answer
701 views

How to start learning formal language theory

I sincerely apologize if this is not appropriate in this stack Q&A, though it seemed the most fitting. I want to learn formal language theory, as well as generating grammars etc. The purpose is ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Which kind of grammar is the following?

Let me define the following "grammar": $$A_0 \leftarrow 1$$ $$A_{i+1} \leftarrow A_i \mid A_i \ K_{i+1} \mid A_i \ K_{i+1} \ A_i$$ where $1$ and $K_i$ are terminals (infinite amount of them: $K_1, ...
4
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1answer
258 views

What characterizations exist for the grammars that can express subsets of the context-free languages?

It is well known that CFGs and PDAs are equivalent, and there has been extensive research about the relationship between deterministic pushdowns and $LR(1)$ grammars, as $DCFL$ is a subset of $LR(1)$. ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the current state of the art in black-box grammar induction?

Grammar induction of Context Free Languages seems to be a very well researched field. I would like to know the current state of the art in inducing a Context Free Grammar (I am reading up Higuera's ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Contract preservation using grammars

I am exploring using annotated grammars to formalize and enforce parts of contracts between nodes in a distributed application. I've found a number of articles on languages for specifying fairly ...