A grammar that is used to define mathematical operators is called an **operator grammar** or **operator precedence grammar**. Such grammars have the restriction that no production has either an empty right-hand side (null productions) or two adjacent non-terminals in its right-hand side.

**Examples –**

This is an example of operator grammar:

E->E+E/E*E/id

However, the grammar given below is not an operator grammar because two non-terminals are adjacent to each other:

S->SAS/a A->bSb/b

We can convert it into an operator grammar, though:

S->SbSbS/SbS/a A->bSb/b

**Operator precedence parser –**

An operator precedence parser is a bottom-up parser that interprets an operator grammar. This parser is only used for operator grammars. *Ambiguous grammars are not allowed* in any parser except operator precedence parser.

There are two methods for determining what precedence relations should hold between a pair of terminals:

- Use the conventional associativity and precedence of operator.
- The second method of selecting operator-precedence relations is first to construct an unambiguous grammar for the language, a grammar that reflects the correct associativity and precedence in its parse trees.

This parser relies on the following three precedence relations: **⋖, ≐, ⋗****a ⋖ b** This means a “yields precedence to” b.**a ⋗ b** This means a “takes precedence over” b.**a ≐ b** This means a “has same precedence as” b.

**Figure –** Operator precedence relation table for grammar E->E+E/E*E/id

There is not given any relation between id and id as id will not be compared and two variables can not come side by side. There is also a disadvantage of this table – if we have n operators then size of table will be n*n and complexity will be 0(n^{2}). In order to decrease the size of table, we use **operator function table**.

Operator precedence parsers usually do not store the precedence table with the relations; rather they are implemented in a special way. Operator precedence parsers use **precedence functions** that map terminal symbols to integers, and the precedence relations between the symbols are implemented by numerical comparison. The parsing table can be encoded by two precedence functions **f** and **g** that map terminal symbols to integers. We select f and g such that:

- f(a) < g(b) whenever a yields precedence to b
- f(a) = g(b) whenever a and b have the same precedence
- f(a) > g(b) whenever a takes precedence over b

**Example –** Consider the following grammar:

E -> E + E/E * E/( E )/id

This is the directed graph representing the precedence function:

Since there is no cycle in the graph, we can make this function table:

fid -> g* -> f+ ->g+ -> f$ gid -> f* -> g* ->f+ -> g+ ->f$

Size of the table is **2n**.

One disadvantage of function tables is that even though we have blank entries in relation table we have non-blank entries in function table. Blank entries are also called error. Hence error detection capability of relation table is greater than function table.

`#include<stdlib.h>` `#include<stdio.h>` `#include<string.h>` ` ` `// function f to exit from the loop` `// if given condition is not true` `void` `f()` `{` ` ` `printf` `(` `"Not operator grammar"` `);` ` ` `exit` `(0);` `}` ` ` `void` `main()` `{` ` ` `char` `grm[20][20], c;` ` ` ` ` `// Here using flag variable,` ` ` `// considering grammar is not operator grammar` ` ` `int` `i, n, j = 2, flag = 0;` ` ` ` ` `// taking number of productions from user` ` ` `scanf` `(` `"%d"` `, &n);` ` ` `for` `(i = 0; i < n; i++)` ` ` `scanf` `(` `"%s"` `, grm[i]);` ` ` ` ` `for` `(i = 0; i < n; i++) {` ` ` `c = grm[i][2];` ` ` ` ` `while` `(c != ` `'\0'` `) {` ` ` ` ` `if` `(grm[i][3] == ` `'+'` `|| grm[i][3] == ` `'-'` ` ` `|| grm[i][3] == ` `'*'` `|| grm[i][3] == ` `'/'` `)` ` ` ` ` `flag = 1;` ` ` ` ` `else` `{` ` ` ` ` `flag = 0;` ` ` `f();` ` ` `}` ` ` ` ` `if` `(c == ` `'$'` `) {` ` ` `flag = 0;` ` ` `f();` ` ` `}` ` ` ` ` `c = grm[i][++j];` ` ` `}` ` ` `}` ` ` ` ` `if` `(flag == 1)` ` ` `printf` `(` `"Operator grammar"` `);` `}` |

Input :3 A=A*A B=AA A=$ Output : Not operator grammar Input :2 A=A/A B=A+A Output : Operator grammar

$ is a null production here which are also not allowed in operator grammars.

**Advantages –**

- It can easily be constructed by hand.
- It is simple to implement this type of parsing.

**Disadvantages –**

- It is hard to handle tokens like the minus sign (-), which has two different precedence (depending on whether it is unary or binary).
- It is applicable only to a small class of grammars.

Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. Learn all **GATE CS concepts with Free Live Classes** on our youtube channel.