# Algorithm To Decide Whether CFL Is Empty

## Context Free Language-

Before you go through this article, make sure that you have gone through the previous article on Context Free Language.

We have discussed-

• Context free language is generated using a context free grammar.
• Each context free language is accepted by a Pushdown automaton.

## Algorithm To Decide Whether CFL Is Empty Or Not-

 If we can not derive any string of terminals from the given grammar,then its language is called as an Empty Language.L(G) = ϕ

For a given CFG, there exists an algorithm to decide whether its language is empty L(G) = ϕ or not.

### Algorithm-

• Remove all the useless symbols from the grammar.
• A useless symbol is one that does not derive any string of terminals.
• If the start symbol is found to be useless, then language is empty otherwise not.

### Remember

The language generated from a CFG is non-empty iff the start symbol is generating.

## Example-

Consider the following grammar-

S → XY

X → AX

X → AA

A → a

Y → BY

Y → BB

B → b

Now, let us check whether language generated by this grammar is empty or not.

The given grammar can be written as-

S → aabb

X → aX

X → aa

A → a

Y → bY

Y → bb

B → b

Clearly,

• The start symbol generates at least one string (many more are possible).
• Therefore, start symbol is useful.
• Thus, language generated by the given grammar is non-empty.

 L(G) ≠ ϕ

## NOTE-

If L(G) = { ∈ } i.e.

• If the language generated by a grammar contains only a null string,
• then it is considered as non-empty.

Next Article- Algorithm To Decide Whether CFL Is Finite

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Summary Article Name
Algorithm To Decide Whether CFL Is Empty
Description
Decision Properties of Context Free Languages and Decision Algorithms for Context Free Languages- Algorithm to decide whether a Context Free Language is empty or not.
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Publisher Name
Gate Vidyalay
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