Generalised Parsing: Some Costs

Adrian Johnstone, Elizabeth Scott, Giorgios R. Economopoulos. Generalised Parsing: Some Costs. In Compiler Construction, 13th International Conference, CC 2004, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2004, Barcelona, Spain, March 29 - April 2, 2004, Proceedings. Volume 2985 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 89-103, Springer, 2004. [doi]


We discuss generalisations of bottom up parsing, emphasising the relative costs for real programming languages. Our goal is to provide a roadmap of the available approaches in terms of their space and time performance for programming language applications, focusing mainly on GLR style algorithms. It is well known that the original Tomita GLR algorithm fails to terminate on hidden left recursion: here we analyse two approaches to correct GLR parsing (i) the modification due to Farshi that is incorporated into Visserrsquos work and (ii) our own right-nullable GLR (RNGLR) algorithm, showing that Farshirsquos approach can be expensive. We also present results from our new Binary RNGLR algorithm which is asymptotically the fastest parser in this family and show that the recently reported reduction incorporated parsers can require automata that are too large to be practical on current machines.