Re: "error handling and recovery" in compilers.

Ingo Dittmer <>
18 Jan 2004 20:52:21 -0500

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Re: "error handling and recovery" in compilers. (Ingo Dittmer) (2004-01-18)
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From: Ingo Dittmer <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 18 Jan 2004 20:52:21 -0500
Organization: University of Applied Sciences =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Osnabr=FCck?=
References: 03-12-144 04-01-019 <00c001c3d2b9$0a6575b0$1600a8c0@RAJARAM> <> <005a01c3d698$5d0249f0$1600a8c0@RAJARAM>
Keywords: errors, bibliography
Posted-Date: 18 Jan 2004 20:52:21 EST

Sorry for answering so late, but I had some troubles with my
mail-server and with my health. Here are some references for automatic
error recovery in compilers. They are old, but as far as I know, up to
date - although good algorithms, they are not implemented in any
compiler (except my own ones).

Eggers: Zur Theorie und Praxis selbstkorrigierender regulärer Sprachen.
Diss. TU Hannover 1972. This is a thesis about regular languages.
Regular programs can be fully corrected.

Graham/Rhodes: Practical Syntactic Error Recovery in Compilers. ACM

Irons: An Error-correcting Parse Algorithm. Communications of the ACM 1963

Levy: Automatic Correction of Syntax Errors in Programming Languages.
Acta Informatica 1975

Lyon: Syntax-Directed Least-Errors Analysis for Context-Free Languages:
A Practical Approach. Communications of the ACM 1974

Moll: Suffixanalyse, ein Konzept zur Behandlung von syntaktischen
Fehlern. Informatik-Spektrum 1981

Richter: Noncorrecting Syntax Error Recovery. ACM TOPLAS 1985

Ripley: A simple Recovery-Only Procedure for Simple Precedence Parsers.
Communications of the ACM 1978

Röhrich: Methods for the Automatic Construction of Error-Correcting
Parsers. Acta Informatica 1980

Röhrich: Behandlung syntaktischer Fehler. Informatik-Spektrum 1982

Cosima Schmauch: Another Error Recovery Algorithm for LR Parsers.
University of Kaiserslautern, Fachbereich Informatik 1982

And some Books containing (little) error recovery:

Aho, Ullmann: Principles of Compiler Design

Bauer, Eickel: Compiler Construction

Waite, Goos: Compiler Construction

Wirth: Compilerbau

There is a script of mine for lectures on error recovery at the
Technical University of Berlin. Unfortunately I have only the printed
form, not the original computer files.

The behaviour of the algorithms is very different. Look at an
if-then-else construct (very complicated because of the dangling else)
and forget the "then" or "else". Some methods are able to insert the
missing key word, some delete the statement or part of it to the next
statement marker (for example ";"), some delete the whole program.
Some are based on trying to correct locally (which results in many
other error messages for correct statements), others try to correct
globally (resulting sometimes in deleting the whole program).

Lyon is interesting, it is based on the recognizer or Earley and
therefore is able to parse all type-2-languages, not only a part of
them. Schmauch works with attributed grammars.

Last, not least, some other items:

Srisuresh, Eager: A Protable Syntactic Error Recovery Scheme for LR(1)
Parsers. ACM 1985

Turba: An Exception-Based Mechanism for Syntactic Error Recovery. 1984

Burke, Fisher: A Practical Method for Syntactic Error Diagnostic and
Recovery. 1982 Sigplan

Graham, Haley, Joy: LR Error Recovers. 1979 Sigplan

Pai, Kieburtz: Global Context Recovery. 1979 Sigplan

Sippu, Soisalon-Soininen: Practical Errior Recovery in LR Parsing. 1982

Burke, Fisher: A Practical Method for LR and LL Syntactic Error
Diagnostic and Recovery. 1987 Toplas

Cormack: An LR Substring Parser for Noncorrecting Syntax-Error Recovery.
1989 Sigplan

McKenzie, Yeatman, de Vere: Error Repair in Shift-Reduce-Parsers. 1995

And many others. Hope this helps a little.
Ingo Dittmer
University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück
Fak. Ingenieurwissenschaften und Informatik

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