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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMP2321 Formal Languages and Finite Automata

10 creditsClass Size: 270

Module manager: Dr Sam Wilson
Email: S.S.Wilson@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Programming and programming languages are essential tools for computer science practitioners. The theory and technology that underpins the development of programming languages, in the past and the present, is that of formal languages and finite automata. This module exists to provide a solid foundation of formal languages and finite automata which will be built on in subsequent modules. This module focuses on the formal specification of languages, the corresponding hierarchy of abstract machines and contributes to developing an understanding of design considerations of programming languages.

Objectives

This module introduces the fundamental concepts required to study complexity, the design and implementation of programming languages and compilers.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module a student will have demonstrated the ability to:

- recall definitions and theorems relating to formal languages and finite automata and apply them appropriately.
- describe and compare different models of computation.
- articulate the existence of undecidable problems.
- illustrate the applications of formal languages and finite automata in the fields of programming language design and compilers.


Syllabus

This module covers the following 3 topic areas:

- Formal languages : regular languages, context-free languages, recursive languages, recursively enumerable languages, grammars, Backnus Naur form (BNF), parsing and parse trees.
- Abstract models of computation : finite automata and Turing machines (both deterministic and non-deterministic).
- Computability : computable and uncomputable functions, computable and uncomputable sets, undecidable problems, the Halting problem, Rice's theorem.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture221.0022.00
Tutorial101.0010.00
Private study hours68.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress is monitored through tutorial worksheets, regular coursework

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentExercise Topic 120.00
In-course AssessmentExercise Topic 220.00
In-course AssessmentExercise Topic 320.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)60.00

This module will be reassessed by an online time-constrained assessment.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 18/09/2020 08:32:04

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