Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

Parsing as a lifting problem and the Chomsky-Schützenberger representation theorem

Paul-André Melliès 1 Noam Zeilberger 2 
1 PI.R2 - Design, study and implementation of languages for proofs and programs
CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Inria de Paris, UPCité - Université Paris Cité, IRIF (UMR_8243) - Institut de Recherche en Informatique Fondamentale
2 PARTOUT - Automatisation et ReprésenTation: fOndation du calcUl et de la déducTion
LIX - Laboratoire d'informatique de l'École polytechnique [Palaiseau], Inria Saclay - Ile de France
Abstract : Building on our work on type refinement systems, we continue developing the thesis that many kinds of deductive systems may be usefully modelled as functors and derivability as a lifting problem, focusing in this work on derivability in context-free grammars. We begin by explaining how derivations in any context-free grammar may be naturally encoded by a functor of operads from a freely generated operad into a certain "operad of spliced words". This motivates the introduction of a more general notion of context-free grammar over any category, defined as a finite species S equipped with a color denoting the start symbol and a functor of operads p : Free S → W[C] into the operad of spliced arrows in C, generating a context-free language of arrows. We show that many standard properties of context-free grammars can be formulated within this framework, thereby admitting simpler analysis, and that usual closure properties of context-free languages generalize to context-free languages of arrows. One advantage of considering parsing as a lifting problem is that it enables a dual fibrational perspective on the functor p via the notion of displayed operad, corresponding to a lax functor of operads W[C] → Span(Set). We show that displayed free operads admit an explicit inductive definition, using this to give a reconstruction of Leermakers' generalization of the CYK parsing algorithm. We then turn to the Chomsky-Schützenberger Representation Theorem. We start by explaining that a non-deterministic finite state automaton over words, or more generally over arrows of a category, can be seen as a category Q equipped with a pair of objects denoting initial and accepting states and a functor of categories Q → C satisfying the unique lifting of factorizations (ULF) property and the finite fiber property, recognizing a regular language of arrows. Then, we explain how to extend this notion of automaton to functors of operads, which generalize tree automata, allowing us to lift an automaton over a category to an automaton over its operad of spliced arrows. We show that every context-free grammar over a category can be pulled back along a non-deterministic finite state automaton over the same category, and hence that context-free languages are closed under intersection with regular languages. The last and important ingredient is the identification of a left adjoint C[−] : Operad → Cat to the operad of spliced arrows functor W[−] : Cat → Operad. This construction builds the contour category C[O] of any operad O, whose arrows have a geometric interpretation as "oriented contours" of operations. A direct consequence of the contour / splicing adjunction is that every pointed finite species induces a universal context-free grammar, generating a language of tree contour words. Finally, we prove a generalization of the Chomsky-Schützenberger Representation Theorem, establishing that any context-free language of arrows over a category C is the functorial image of the intersection of a C-chromatic tree contour language and a regular language.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Noam Zeilberger Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 12:34:56 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 12:00:33 PM


Files produced by the author(s)


  • HAL Id : hal-03702762, version 1


Paul-André Melliès, Noam Zeilberger. Parsing as a lifting problem and the Chomsky-Schützenberger representation theorem. MFPS 2022 - 38th conference on Mathematical Foundations for Programming Semantics, Jul 2022, Ithaca, NY, United States. ⟨hal-03702762⟩



Record views


Files downloads