Course of Automi e Linguaggi 
Academic Year 2012-2013 (Face-to-face Course and On-line Course) 

Laurea Triennale in Ingegneria Informatica 

Link to: Automi e Linguaggi: On-line Course.


Teacher: Alberto Pettorossi (Professor).

You can talk to the teacher after the lectures or by appointment.


Curriculum Vitae of Alberto Pettorossi.

You can send email messages to the teacher:

In your message, please, use the subject:      


or if you are an ‘online’ student:


(The word ‘EnrolmentNumber’ stands for the Italian word ‘Matricola’).


6 cfu (crediti formativi). Code: 8037602

Settore Scientifico Disciplinare: Sistemi di Elaborazione delle Informazioni.

ING-INF/05 09-H1

60 hours of face-to-face teaching (single module).


Contratto integrativo: Theory of Parsing

(Dr. Ing. Valerio Senni, research contract holder) (5 hours).


Lectures:  from 04.03.13 to 28.06.13
Tuesday  09:30-11:15  Room B4.
Thursday 11:30-13:15  Room B4.

Seminars and Exams: (the word ‘call’ stands for the Italian word ‘appello’)            


(1) Thursday  04.07.13  15:00 Room C2   Exam (written part) for the first and

         second calls

(2) Tuesday   23.07.13  15:00 Room C2   Second call (oral part)


    Thursday  05.09.13  15:00 Room C2  The ‘Before-the-Exam’ Seminar

(1) Tuesday   10.09.13  15:00 Room C1  Exam (written part) for the first and

         second calls

(2) Monday    23.09.13  15:00 Pettorossi’s Office  Second call (oral part)


    Tuesday   21.01.14  14:00 Room C1   The ‘Before-the-Exam’ Seminar

(1) Tuesday   04.02.14  15:00 Room C10   Exam (written part) for the first and

         second calls

(2) Tuesday   18.02.14  15:00 Pettorossi’s Office  Second call (oral part)


The dates of the oral exam for the first call will be announced at the end of the written exam.

*** Updated information is/will be available at:

Both for the first and the second call, within four days before the date (1)
you should register using the online system
--> You cannot register for both calls.
--> If you are an ‘online’ student, write ’online’ after your name, please.

Within four days before date (1) for the first call, and date (2) for the
second call, please send to: and
a message with subject:
and body:
Invio in allegato i miei elaborati per le due prove in itinere che ho fatto da
  solo/a. Firstname Lastname
You should attach to the message two text files (with extension .cpp or .java or
.txt). These files should contain your solution to the two homework
exercises. Each program should be documented and should contain instructions for
its compilation and execution. Please, include also some execution tests as
comments to the code of each program. The names of the files should be:
If you are an ‘online’ student the names of the files should be:

Do not add screenshots and strictly follows the above instruction, please.
Send the message with the two attached files, according to the above
instructions, even if you have done so for a previous exam call.
Normally, you cannot register to more than three exam calls per academic year.
Learning Objectives.
Introduction to formal languages and automata with particular reference to
regular languages, context-free languages, finite automata, and
pushdown automata. Introduction to the theory of computation
Introduction to the basic techniques for parsing and compiling programming

Mathematical Preliminaries: relations, functions. Chomsky Hierarchy.
Regular Languages,regular expressions, deterministic and nondeterministic finite automata. Parsing of regular languages.
Context-free languages and deterministic and nondeterministic pushdown automata.
Parsing of context-free languages: Cocke-Younger-Kasami parser, chop-expand parser, Earley parser (optional), LL(1) parsers, LR(0) parsers, LR(1) parsers, LALR(1) parsers
Turing Machines and type 0 grammars and languages. Type 1 grammars and languages. Decidable, undecidable, and semidecidable problems.
Knuth-Morris-Pratt pattern matcher. Hoare triples for partial correctness.

Homework: to be done by yourself.  

Detailed syllabus and exam questions.

Previous Exam Questions.
0. ALTFirstLectures.pdf

1. Quantifiers.pdf

2. HsiangTheoremProver.pdf (facoltativo)

3. SummaryPages.pdf

4. GrammarsAutomata.pdf

5. ChopExpandParser01.pdf

Requirements for the course: Fundamentals notions of Computer Science.
Elements of C++ or Java programming. Use of arrays, lists, pointers, and recursion. Elements of Algebra and elements of Predicate Calculus. 


Attendance to lectures is compulsory.

The exam consists in the presentation and the discussion of the homework (to be done by him/herself), and a written and an oral session.
The student should come to the exam sessions with his/her enrolment book (‘libretto’).


Statistics of the outcome of previous exam sessions.

Audio Recording of the lectures is available on demand (for personal use only).
1. A. Pettorossi: Automata Theory and Formal Languages. Third Edition. Aracne, 2011.
   Without Sections 1.6, 2.7, 2.11, 3.13.2, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 

   7.2, 7.6.
   and the proofs of the theorems of Chapters 4 and 5, and of Section 6.1.
2. A. Pettorossi: Techniques for Searching, Parsing, and Matching. Third Edition.

   Aracne, 2011. Chapter 2.2, 2.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5, 6.1, 6.2.1, 9.1.
Errata Corrige of Books
Among the many textbooks which are available for further, we list the following ones:
3. A.V. Aho, R. Sethi, J.D. Ullman: Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools.
   Addison-Wesley, 1986. This book is also known as "The Dragon Book".
4. J.E. Hopcroft, R. Motwani, J.D. Ullman: Introduction to Automata Theory,Languages,
   and Computation. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 2001 (Revised Edition).
5. A. Pettorossi: Quaderni di Informatica Parte I. Second Edition. Aracne, 2004.

   Chapters 1 and 8.
6. A. Pettorossi, M. Proietti: First Order Predicate Calculus and Logic Programming.

   Second Edition. Aracne, 2005.