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Why is it useful for a programmer to have some background in language design, even though he/she may never actually design a programming language?

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS

1. (10%) Conceptual – answer these in full sentences. Lecture material should suffice as resources for this, and the textbook is also quite helpful.

 

a) Why is it useful for a programmer to have some background in language design, even though he/she may never actually design a programming language?

b) What makes the Von Neumann architecture more suitable, in terms of efficiency, for imperative programming over functional programming?

c) What is the bottleneck that limits the speed of compilation-based implementation methods, versus that of pure interpretation?

 

2. (50%) Programming:

For this part, you may need to install the gcc compiler to be able to perform compilations on your c programs in the command prompt. For Windows, follow these instructions: https://www.guru99.com/c-gcc-install.html.

For Linux: https://linuxize.com/post/how-to-install-gcc-compiler-on-ubuntu-18-04/

 

a.) Write an introductory C program that outputs the factorial of a user inputted integer, n, on prompt. Write two distinct factorial methods, factorial_rec and factorial_it, performing the factorial using a recursive and iterative method, respectively. In addition, output the time it took to complete the call for some example input. You might want to use the clock() function which is available in the time.h library in C. Example usage:

 

#include <time.h> clock_t start, end; double cpu_time_used; start = clock();

... /* Do the work. */ end = clock();

cpu_time_used = ((double) (end - start)) / CLOCKS_PER_SEC;

 

In a single c file, create a main program that will output the factorial (and time of completing the method) of a user inputted integer in prompt (i.e., using scanf). Once compiled, the output upon execution would look like:

 

 

b) Notice that the time it seems to take to perform the methods on a small integer like 3 seems both minimal and equal between both methods. Find and report a large enough integer (if any) along with the time of execution that may suggest a difference in efficiency between both methods. If a difference does exist between recursive and iterative calls, explain why.

 

c) Compile the same C program you wrote to assembly code (extension is .s) using the gcc -S command:

gcc -S factorial.c.

You can compile the assembly code to executable with the command:

gcc -c factorial

 

Now, look over the assembly code (i.e., factorial.s), and report the total number of instructions (lines) that pertain to the factorial_it method versus that of the factorial_rec method. Comment on any similarities/differences. You may also take a screenshot of the segments of code relevant to each.

 

 

Also submit factorial.c and factorial.s in a .zip file. Not doing so will result in a 0 for the question.

 

 

3.(40%) Theoretical

a) Rewrite the grammar here to prioritize + over * and make the + operator right associative.

<assign> → <id> = <expr>

<id> → A | B | C

<expr> → <expr> + <term>

| <term>

<term> → <term> * <factor>

| <factor>

<factor> → ( <expr>)

| <id>

 

b) Using the following grammar, show whether it is possible to generate a parse tree for the statements given. If so, show its leftmost derivation.

<assign>  <id> = <expr>

<id>  A | B | C

<expr>  <expr> + <term> | <term>

<term> <term> * <factor> | <factor>

<factor>  ( <expr> ) | <id>

1. A = A * B + C * A

2. A = B + C * (A + B)

 

 

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