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# Simplification of Context Free Grammars Computer Science Engineering (CSE) Notes | EduRev

## Computer Science Engineering (CSE) : Simplification of Context Free Grammars Computer Science Engineering (CSE) Notes | EduRev

The document Simplification of Context Free Grammars Computer Science Engineering (CSE) Notes | EduRev is a part of the Computer Science Engineering (CSE) Course Theory of Computation.
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Part II. Simplification of Context Free Grammars

3 Simplification of CFGs
We can simplify a CFG and produce an equivalent reduced CFG. This is done by,
a. Eliminating useless symbols,
b. Eliminating ε productions,
c. Eliminating unit productions.

3.1 Eliminating Useless Symbols
Useless symbols are those non-terminals or terminals that do not appear in any derivation of a string.
A symbol, Y is said to be useful if: that is Y should lead to a set of terminals. Here Y is said to be ’generating’.
b. If there is a derivation, then Y is said to be ’reachable’.

Thus a symbol is useful, if it is ’generating’ and ’useful’.
Thus a symbol is useless, if it is not ’generating’ and not ’reachable’.

Example 1:
Consider the CFG,
S → AB|a
A → b
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate uselss symbols from this grammar.

By observing the above CFG, it is clear that B is a non generating symbol. Since A derives ’b’, S derives ’a’ but B does not derive any string ’w’.
So we can eliminate S → AB from the CFG.
Now CFG becomes,
S → a
A → b

Here A is a non reachable symbol, since it cannot be reached from the start symbol S.
So we can eliminate the production, A → b from the CFG.

Now the reduced grammar is,
S → a
This grammar does not contain any useless symbols.

Example 2:
Consider the CFG,
S → aB|bX
A → BAd|bSX|a
B → aSB|bBX
X → SBD|aBx|ad
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate uselss symbols from this grammar.

First we choose those non terminals which derive to the strings of terminals.
The non terminals,
A derives to the terminal ’a’;
X derives to the terminals ’ad’.
So A and X are useful symbols.

Since,
S → bX, and X is a useful symbol, S is also a useful symbol.

From the production, B → aSB|bBX,
B does not derive any terminal string, B is a non-generating symbol. So eliminate those productions containing B.
Grammar becomes,
S → bX
A → bSX|a
X → ad

From the above CFG, A is a non- reachable symbol, since A cannot be reached from the start symbol, S.
So eliminate the production, A → bSX|a.
Now the CFG is,
S → bX
X → ad
This grammar does not contain any useless symbols.

Example 3:
Consider the CFG,
A → xyz|Xyzz
X → Xz|xY z
Y → yY y|Xz
Z → Zy|z
where A is the start symbol.
Eliminate uselss symbols from this grammar.

From the productions,
A → xyz, Z → z,
A and Z derive to the strings of terminals. So A and Z are useful symbols.

X and Y do not lead to a string of terminals; that means X and Y are useless symbols.
Eliminating the productions of X and Y, we get,
A → xyz
Z → Zy|z

From the above, Z is not reachable, since it cannot be reached from the start symbol, A. So eliminate the production
corresponding to Z.

The CFG is,
A → xyz.
This grammar does not contain any useless symbols.

Example 4:
Consider the CFG,
S → aC|SB
A → bSCa
B → aSB|bBC
C → aBC|ad
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate uselss symbols from this grammar.
Since, C → ad,
C is a generating symbol.

Since, S → aC,
S is also a useful symbol.

Since, A → bSCa,
A is also a useful symbol.

The RHS of B → aSB|bBC contains B. B is not terminating. B is not generating.
So B is a useless symbol. Eliminate those productions containing B.
We get,
S → aC
A → bSCa
C → ad

From the above, A is not reachable, since it cannot be reached from the start symbol, S.
So eliminate the production corresponding to A.

We get the CFG as,
S → aC
C → ad
where S is the start symbol.
This grammar does not contain any useless symbols.

3.2 Removal of Unit Productions
A unit production is defined as,
A → B
where A is a non-terminal, and
B is a non-terminal.
Thus both LHS and RHS contain single non-terminals.

Following examples show how unit productions are removed from a CFG.

Example 1:
Consider the CFG,
S → AB

3 Simplification of CFGs 20

A → a
B → C|b
C → D
D → E
E → a
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate unit productions from this grammar.

From the above CFG, it is seen that,
B → C
C → D
D → E
are unit productions.

To remove the production, B → C, check whether there exists a production whose LHS is C and RHS is a terminal.
No such production exists.
To remove the production, C → D, check whether there exists a production whose LHS is D and RHS is a terminal.
No such production exists.

To remove the production, D → E, check whether there exists a production whose LHS is E and RHS is a terminal.
There is a production, E → a. So remove, D → E, and add the production, D → a, CFG becomes,
S → AB
A → a
B → C|b
C → D
D → a
E → a

Now remove the production, C → D, and add the production, C → a, we get,
S → AB
A → a
B → C|b
C → a
D → a
E → a

Now remove the production, B → C, and add the production, B → a, we get,
S → AB
A → a
B → a|b
C → a
D → a
E → a
where S is the start symbol.
Now the grammar contains no unit productions.

From the above CFG, it is seen that the productions, C → a, D → a, E → a are useless becuse the symbols C, D and E cannot be reached from the start symbol, S.
By eliminating these productions, we get the CFG as,
S → AB
A → a
B → a|b
Above is a completely reduced grammar.

Example 2:
Consider the CFG,
S → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1
F → S|(E)
T → F|T ∗ F
E → T|E + T
where E is the start symbol.
Eliminate unit productions from this grammar.

From the above CFG,
F → S
T → F
E → T
are unit productions.

The unit production F → S can be removed by rewriting it as, F → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1
Now the CFG is,
S → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1
F → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)
T → F|T ∗ F
E → T|E + T

The unit production T → F can be removed by rewriting it as, T → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)
Now the CFG is,
S → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1
F → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)
T → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)|T ∗ F
E → T|E + T

The unit production E → T can be removed by rewriting it as, E → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)|T ∗ F
Now the CFG is,
S → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1
F → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)
T → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)|T ∗ F
E → a|b|Sa|Sb|S0|S1|(E)|T ∗ F|E + T
This is the CFG that does not contain any unit productions.

Example 1:
Consider the CFG,
S → A|bb
A → B|b
B → S|a
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate unit productions from this grammar.

Here unit productions are,
S → A
A → B
B → S

Here,
S → A generates S → b
S → A → B generates S → a

A → B generates A → a
A → B → S generates A → bb

B → S generates B → bb
B → S → A generates B → b
The new CFG is,
S → b|a|bb
A → a|bb|b
B → bb|b|a
which contains no unit productions.

3.3 Removal of ε- Productions
Productions of the form, A → ε are called ε -productions.
We can eliminate ε -productions from a grammar in the following way:
If A → ε is a production to be eliminated, then we look for all productions, whose RHS contains A, and replace every
occurrence of A in each of these productions to obtain non ε -productions. The resultant non ε -productions are added to
the grammar.

Example 1:
Consider the CFG,
S → aA
A → b|ε
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate epsilon productions from this grammar.

Here, A → ε is an epsilon production.
By following the above procedure, put ε in place of A, at the RHS of productions, we get,
The production, S → aA becomes, S → a.
Then the CFG is,
S → aA
S → a
A → b
OR
S → aA|a
A → b
Thus this CFG does not contain any epsilon productions.

Example 2:
Consider the CFG,
S → ABAC
A → aA|ε
B → bB|ε
C → c
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate epsilon productions from this grammar.

This CFG contains the epsilon productions, A → ε, B → ε.

To eliminate A → ε, replace A with epsion in the RHS of the productions, S → ABAC, A → aA,
For the production, S → ABAC, replace A with epsilon one by one as,
we get,
S → BAC
S → ABC
S → BC
For the production, A → aA, we get,
A → a,

Now the grammar becomes,
S → ABAC|ABC|BAC|BC
A → aA|a
B → bB|ε
C → c

To eliminate B → ε, replace A with epsion in the RHS of the productions, S → ABAC, B → bB,
For the production, S → ABAC|ABC|BAC|BC , replace B with epsilon as,
we get,
S → AAC|AC|C

For the production, B → bB, we get,
B → b,

Now the grammar becomes,
S → ABAC|ABC|BAC|BC|AAC|AC|C
A → aA|a
B → bB|b
C → c
which does not contain any epsilon production.

Example 3:
Consider the CFG,
S → aSa

3 Simplification of CFGs 25

S → bSb|ε
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate epsilon productions from this grammar.

Here, S → ε is an epsilon production. Replace the occurrence of S by epsilon, we get,
S → aa,
S → bb

Now the CFG becomes,
S → aSa|bSb|aa|bb
This does not contain epsilon productions.

Example 4:
Consider the CFG,
S → a|Xb|aY a
X → Y |ε
Y → b|X
where S is the start symbol.
Eliminate epsilon productions from this grammar.

Here, X → ε is an epsilon production. Replace the occurrence of X by epsilon, we get,
S → a|b
X → Y
Y → ε

Now the grammar becomes,
S → a|Xb|aY a|a|b
X → Y
Y → b|X|ε

In the above CFG, Y → ε is an epsilon production. Replace the ocurrence of Y by epsilon, we get,
S → aa
X → ε

Now the grammar becomes,
S → a|Xb|aY a|a|b|aa
X → Y
Y → b|X
This grammar does not contain epsilon productions.

Exercises:
Simplify the following context free grammars:
1.
S → AB
A → a
B → b
B → C
E → c|ε
where S is the start symbol.

2.
S → aAa
A → Sb|bCC|DaA
C → abb|DD
E → aC
D → aDA
where S is the start symbol.

3.
S → bS|bA|ε
A → ε
where S is the start symbol.

4.
S → bS|AB
A → ε
B → ε
D → a
where S is the start symbol.

5.
S → A
A → B
B → C
C → a
where S is the start symbol.

3 Simplification of CFGs 27

6.
S → AB
A → a
B → C|b
C → D
D → E
E → a
where S is the start symbol.

7.
S → ABCD
A → a
B → C|b
C → D
D → c
where S is the start symbol.

8.
S → aS|AC|AB
A → ε
C → ε
B → bB|bb
D → c
where S is the start symbol.

9.
S → ABC|A0A
A → 0A|B0C|000|B
B → 1B1|0|D
C → CA|AC
D → ε
where S is the start symbol.

10.
S → AAA|B
A → 0A|B
B → ε
where S is the start symbol.

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## Theory of Computation

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