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This entry is from Winter semester 2019/20 and might be obsolete. You can find a current equivalent here.

CS 551 — Compiler Construction
(dt. Compilerbau)

Level, degree of commitment Specialization module, depends on importing study program
Forms of teaching and learning,
Lecture (4 SWS), recitation class (2 SWS),
270 hours (90 h attendance, 180 h private study)
Credit points,
formal requirements
9 CP
Course requirement(s): Successful completion of at least 50 percent of the points from the weekly exercises as well as at least 2 presentations of the tasks.
Examination type: Oral or written examination
The grading is done with 0 to 15 points according to the examination regulations for the degree program M.Sc. Computer Science.
Subject, Origin Computer Science, M.Sc. Computer Science
One semester,
Regelmäßig alle 3 bis 4 Semester
Person in charge of the module's outline Prof. Dr. Christoph Bockisch


Compilers translate programs from high-level programming languages into executable machine code. The module presents and compares concepts and methods developed for the different phases of compilers:

  • lexical analysis: regular expressions, finite automata, first-longest-match principle, scanner generators
  • Syntactic analysis: Context-free grammars, recursive descent parsing with LL(k) grammars, shift reduce parsing with LR(k) grammars, precedent-controlled parsers, parser generators;
  • Semantic analysis with attribute grammars
  • Intermediate code generation
  • code optimization

Qualification Goals

  • Differentiation of different aspects of programming languages (lexical grammar, syntax, semantics, pragmatics),
  • Knowledge of the structure of compilers, compiler phases, bootstrapping,
  • Understand, create and use compiler generation tools,
  • Basic principles of code generation, denotational semantics and abstract machines,
  • Programming individual parts of a compiler,
  • Practice of scientific working methods (recognition, formulation, solving problems, training of abstraction skills),
  • Training of oral communication skills in the exercises by practicing free speech in front of an audience and during discussion.


None. The competences taught in the following module are recommended: Theoretical Computer Science.

Recommended Reading

  • Drachenbuch: Aho/Sethi/Ullman: Compilers — Principles, Techniques, and Tools, Addison-Wesley 1986; Waite/Goos: Compiler Construction, Springer Verlag 1994; Wilhelm/Maurer: Übersetzerbau: Theorie, Konstruktion, Generierung, Springer Verlag 1992; Appel: Modern Compiler Implementation in ML/Java/C++, Addison-Wesley 1998.

Please note:

This page describes a module according to the latest valid module guide in Winter semester 2019/20. Most rules valid for a module are not covered by the examination regulations and can therefore be updated on a semesterly basis. The following versions are available in the online module guide:

The module guide contains all modules, independent of the current event offer. Please compare the current course catalogue in Marvin.

The information in this online module guide was created automatically. Legally binding is only the information in the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung). If you notice any discrepancies or errors, we would be grateful for any advice.