Compiler Design Aho Ullman | Best Compiler Design Books

Compilers Principles, Techniques & Tools By Aho, Sethi & Ullman


This article reviews the book “Compilers Principles, Techniques and Tools” by Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, D. Jeffrey Ullman and Monica S. Lam.

The article covers-

  • Special features of book
  • Analysis of Content
  • Analysis of Exercises
  • Necessary Instructions
  • Conclusion


Why Should Be Read?


Special Features of Book-


The special features of this book are-

  • It is the best book among the few available reference books for this subject.
  • It covers much more than what is present in the GATE syllabus.
  • It discusses the content in quite clear, simple and lucid style.
  • It is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate students.
  • It has sufficient number of exercise questions which are high in quality.


Analysis of Content-


The following table analyzes sections of the book that are relevant for GATE-


Chapter No. GATE Relevant Sections GATE Topics Covered
1 All Sections Introduction to Compilers
2 All Sections Basics of Syntax Directed Translator
3 3.1 to 3.5 Lexical Analysis and Tokens
4 4.1.1 Introduction to Syntax Analysis
4.2 Context Free Grammars

(Overlaps with Theory of Computation Syllabus)

4.4 Top-Down Parsing
4.5 Bottom-Up Parsing
4.6 to 4.9 LR Parsing and Parser Generators
5 All Sections Syntax Directed Translation
6 6.1 Directed Acyclic Graphs
6.2 Three Address Code
6.6 Control Flow and Backpatching
7 7.2 Stack Allocation & Accessing Data on Stack
7.4 Heap Management

Covering Only These Sections Is Enough


Analysis of Exercises-


The following table analyzes exercises of the book that are relevant for GATE-


Chapter No. Question No.
1 1.6.1, 1.6.2, 1.6.3, 1.6.4
2 2.2.1 to 2.2.6, 2.3.1 to 2.3.5, 2.4.1, 2.6.1 to 2.6.3
3 3.1.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.3.5, 3.3.6, 3.3.7, 3.3.9, 3.3.10
4 4.2.1 to 4.2.8, 4.3.1 to 4.3.3, 4.4.1, 4.4.3, 4.4.4, 4.4.5, 4.4.6,
4.4.7, 4.5.1 to 4.5.3, 4.6.1 to 4.6.7, 4.7.1 to 4.7.5, 4.8.1
5 5.1.1 to 5.1.3, 5.2.1 to 5.2.5, 5.3.1 to 5.3.3, 5.4.2 to 5.4.6, 5.5.1
to 5.5.5
6 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.6.1, 6.6.3, 6.6.4, 6.6.5, 6.6.6,
6.7.1 to 6.7.3
7 7.2.1 to 7.2.5, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.4.1

Practicing Only These Exercises Is Enough


Necessary Instructions-


Keep the following instructions in mind while reading the book-

  • The book has nearly 1000 pages.
  • So, be selective and read only the relevant sections from the book.
  • If you follow the GATE syllabus, the number of pages reduces significantly.
  • Target code generation and code optimization are no longer the part of syllabus.
  • From the past 2-3 years, the weightage of this subject has reduced.
  • In last previous years, there have been hardly one or two questions asked.
  • So, prepare accordingly keeping in mind the weightage of this subject.
  • The exercise questions of this book are at par with the level of questions asked in the GATE exam.
  • Practicing exercise questions along with previous year questions is sufficient to perform excellent.




  • This textbook covers many more topics than those mentioned in the GATE syllabus.
  • Reading in accordance with the above discussed sections ensure all the topics are covered.
  • The exercise questions are excellent for practice while preparing for GATE.
  • This book is a must read for students to understand how a compiler actually works.





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Compiler Design By O.G. Kakde-



Compiler Design Aho Ullman | Best Compiler Design Books
Article Name
Compiler Design Aho Ullman | Best Compiler Design Books
Compiler Design Books for GATE CSE- Compilers Principles, Techniques and Tools by Aho, Ravi Sethi and Ullman is the best Compiler Design book for GATE CSE. Compiler Design by O.G. Kakde is another recommended book.
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Gate Vidyalay
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