Higher-Order Operator Precedence Languages

Stefano Crespi Reghizzi
(DEIB, Politecnico di Milano, and IEIIT, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche)
Matteo Pradella
(DEIB, Politecnico di Milano, and IEIIT, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche)

Floyd's Operator Precedence (OP) languages are a deterministic context-free family having many desirable properties. They are locally and parallely parsable, and languages having a compatible structure are closed under Boolean operations, concatenation and star; they properly include the family of Visibly Pushdown (or Input Driven) languages. OP languages are based on three relations between any two consecutive terminal symbols, which assign syntax structure to words. We extend such relations to k-tuples of consecutive terminal symbols, by using the model of strictly locally testable regular languages of order k at least 3. The new corresponding class of Higher-order Operator Precedence languages (HOP) properly includes the OP languages, and it is still included in the deterministic (also in reverse) context free family. We prove Boolean closure for each subfamily of structurally compatible HOP languages. In each subfamily, the top language is called max-language. We show that such languages are defined by a simple cancellation rule and we prove several properties, in particular that max-languages make an infinite hierarchy ordered by parameter k. HOP languages are a candidate for replacing OP languages in the various applications where they have have been successful though sometimes too restrictive.

In Erzsébet Csuhaj-Varjú, Pál Dömösi and György Vaszil: Proceedings 15th International Conference on Automata and Formal Languages (AFL 2017), Debrecen, Hungary, September 4-6, 2017, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 252, pp. 86–100.
Published: 21st August 2017.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.252.11 bibtex PDF
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