Bounded Seas

— Island Parsing Without Shipwrecks
  • Jan Kurš
  • Mircea Lungu
  • Oscar Nierstrasz
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8706)


Imprecise manipulation of source code (semi-parsing) is useful for tasks such as robust parsing, error recovery, lexical analysis, and rapid development of parsers for data extraction. An island grammar precisely defines only a subset of a language syntax (islands), while the rest of the syntax (water) is defined imprecisely.

Usually, water is defined as the negation of islands. Albeit simple, such a definition of water is naive and impedes composition of islands. When developing an island grammar, sooner or later a programmer has to create water tailored to each individual island. Such an approach is fragile, however, because water can change with any change of a grammar. It is time-consuming, because water is defined manually by a programmer and not automatically. Finally, an island surrounded by water cannot be reused because water has to be defined for every grammar individually.

In this paper we propose a new technique of island parsing — bounded seas. Bounded seas are composable, robust, reusable and easy to use because island-specific water is created automatically. We integrated bounded seas into a parser combinator framework as a demonstration of their composability and reusability.


Character Class Context Free Grammar Input String Composability Problem Extended Semantic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Kurš
    • 1
  • Mircea Lungu
    • 1
  • Oscar Nierstrasz
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Composition GroupUniversity of BernSwitzerland

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