Program Analysis and Transformation (PAT)

Course content

The automated processing of program texts is central to Computer Science. The prime example of such processing is traditionally a compilation of high-level to low-level languages ­–  including the necessary supporting analyses, whether for error-detection purposes or in support of efficiency-improving program optimisations. But other instances of program analysis and/or transformation abound in both core programming-language work, and in support of adjoining disciplines, such as algorithmics or security.

The course introduces students to the principles and practice of automated program processing, covering both mainstream application areas, and selected more exotic applications.


MSc Programme in Computer Science

Learning outcome

At course completion, the successful student will have:

Knowledge of

  • Static program analysis paradigms, including abstract interpretation and type-based analyses.
  • Applications areas of automated program analysis, including optimisation, verification, and information security.
  • Principles of semantics-based program transformation.
  • Applications of program transformation, including translation, synthesis, and maintenance.
  • Software systems and tools supporting analyses and transformations.
  • Selected examples of advanced analyses and/or transformations.


Skills to

  • Decide and argue correctness and other properties of a range of analysis and transformation algorithms.
  • Concretely realise analysis and transformation algorithms from their abstract descriptions.


Competences to

  • Design and implement systems for automated processing of programs expressed in both general-purpose and domain-specific languages.


Lectures, exercises, mandatory assignments.

Articles and notes. See Absalon after the course it set up.

Basic knowledge of the principles of programming language implementation (as found in an undergraduate-level compilers course), operational semantics and type systems (e.g. "Semantics and Types" or similar), and practical programming skills in a functional language (e.g., Haskell, as used in "Advanced Programming") will be expected.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
Continuous assessment based on 4-6 written individual assignments, covering both theory and programming. Assignments are assessed as a whole.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

The re-exam consists of two parts:

1. The student must resubmit the assignment no later than three weeks before the re-exam week, in order for the assignment to be approved prior to the oral examination.

2. A 30-minute oral examination without preparation.


Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 26
  • Exercises
  • 60
  • Project work
  • 100
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
No limit
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Mathematics and Computer Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Computer Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Robert Glück   (6-6b707969676f44686d326f7932686f)
Saved on the 28-02-2023

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