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Theory of Automata and Formal Languages
(dt. Formale Sprachen und Automatentheorie)

Level, degree of commitment in original study programme Advanced module, compulsory elective module
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: 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 study course M.Sc. Computer Sciences.
Original study programme M.Sc. Informatik / Vertiefungsbereich Informatik
One semester,
Person in charge of the module's outline Prof. Dr. Detlef Wotschke


In this course, the contents of the module 'Theoretical Computer Science' will be extended and deepened. Structural properties of context-free grammars and pushdown machines, deterministic context-free languages as well as controlled replacement processes are examined in detail. Furthermore, properties common to many known classes of formal languages and automata are investigated. To this end, Abstract Families of Languages (AFL) and Abstract Families of Automata (AFA) will be introduced, leading to a characterization by termination properties of machines with common memory functions. Specifically, the main set of AFLs is derived using a generator and so-called finitely coded AFAs.

Qualification Goals

Understanding and mastery of the learning material on Formal Languages and Automata Theory, training oral communication skills in the exercises by practicing free speech in front of an audience and in discussion. The content is intended to explain, among other things, why so many of the known language and machine families have identical algebraic and technical properties and what relationship exists between the algebraic and technical properties.


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

Recommended Reading

  • Wird in der Veranstaltung bekanntgegeben.

Please note:

This page describes a module according to the latest valid module guide in Wintersemester 2022/23. 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.