Safe specification of operator precedence rules

A. Afroozeh, M.G.J. Brand, van den, A. Johnstone, E. Scott, J.J. Vinju

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    In this paper we present an approach to specifying operator precedence based on declarative disambiguation constructs and an implementation mechanism based on grammar rewriting. We identify a problem with existing generalized context-free parsing and disambiguation technology: generating a correct parser for a language such as OCaml using declarative precedence specification is not possible without resorting to some manual grammar transformation. Our approach provides a fully declarative solution to operator precedence specification for context-free grammars, is independent of any parsing technology, and is safe in that it guarantees that the language of the resulting grammar will be the same as the language of the specification grammar. We evaluate our new approach by specifying the precedence rules from the OCaml reference manual against the highly ambiguous reference grammar and validate the output of our generated parser.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSoftware Language Engineering (6th International Conference, SLE 2013, Indianapolis, IN, USA, October 26-28, 2013. Proceedings)
    EditorsM. Erwig, R.F. Paige, E. Van Wyk
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-02653-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    Eventconference; 6th International Conference onSoftware Language Engineering; 2013-10-26; 2013-10-28 -
    Duration: 26 Oct 201328 Oct 2013

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743


    Conferenceconference; 6th International Conference onSoftware Language Engineering; 2013-10-26; 2013-10-28
    Other6th International Conference onSoftware Language Engineering


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