Due to the Corona virus, a few things are different in this course year from how it was planned:

  1. Some lectures and lab sessions will be on-line, through Microsoft Teams
  2. Instead of a written exam, there will be two take-home assignments, and we may but will not always invite students for an oral exam at the end of the course. Because of this change, the two practical assignments are each 30 percent of the final grade, and the take home exams are each 20 percent. The results of an oral may lead to us changing your final grade. Take home exams are individual efforts; the practical assignments we expect students to do in pairs, although individual submissions are allowed. Your averages for the labs and for the take home exams both have to be 5.0 or higher in order to pass.

Automatic Program Analysis

This course replaces the course on Compiler Construction as given in course years up to 2018-19. Since the content is largely the same, you cannot have both courses on your final course list.

Computer programs are usually written in a so-called high-level programming language, such as C, Java, or Haskell. Execution of such programs requires either a compiler or an interpreter for the language. In its most general form, a compiler is a piece of software that takes as input a program written in a certain (usually: high-level) language and produces as output a translation of that program into another (more low-level) language. Examples include: compilers that translate C programs into machine code for an IA-32 processor; compilers that translate Java programs into bytecode instructions for the Java Virtual Machine; but also: software for translating Latex documents into HTML.

In this course, we study aspects of compilers. We do so by considering some of the language constructs that typically appear in modern imperative and functional programming languages, and by looking at what kind of analyses these constructs require in order to be compiled. We delve into formalisms, tools, and programming techniques that are particulary well-suited for crafting static analyzers.

The course consists largely of the following four advanced topics in compiler construction:

The practical assignments are all to be performed in Haskell, and we expect students to be familiar with that language (for example, by doing our bachelor course on Functional Programming). If you don’t know Haskell you are at very significant disadvantage compared to your fellow students. Familiarity with aspects of parsing and lexing (for example, by doing our bachelor course on Talen en Compilers) may be useful but will not be essential for doing the practicals.