Introducing Fixed-Point Iteration Early in a Compiler Course
The paper "Introducing Fixed-Point Iteration Early in a Compiler
Course," by Max
Hailperin, appeared in the Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth
SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
San Jose, California, 1997, pp. 258-261.
version is the one published by
ACM, and they hold the copyright as stated in the copyright
notice on page one.
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A postscript (or afterthought) to the paper
In the paper, I show that fixed-point iteration
can be introduced much earlier in a compiler course than is typical.
Specifically, I show how to introduce this topic in the context of
parsing. More recently it occurred to me that the topic could be
pushed even earlier (in the typical compiler course's organization) by
covering it in the context of lexical analysis. This is because the
epsilon-closure algorithm, which is typically used as a step in
building a DFA lexical analyzer from regular expressions, can be
formulated as a least fixed-point iteration.