Introduction to the Theory of Computation, 6 credits (TDDD65)

Introduction to the Theory of Computation, 6 hp

Main field of study

Computer Science and Engineering Computer Science


First cycle

Course type

Programme course


Christer Bäckström

Director of studies or equivalent

Ahmed Rezine
Course offered for Semester Period Timetable module Language Campus VOF
6MICS Computer Science, Master's Programme 1 (Autumn 2017) 1, 2 2, 1 English Linköping o

Main field of study

Computer Science and Engineering, Computer Science

Course level

First cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Computer Science, Master's Programme

Entry requirements

Note: Admission requirements for non-programme students usually also include admission requirements for the programme and threshold requirements for progression within the programme, or corresponding.


Basic course in discrete mathematics. Basic course in algorithms and data structures.

Intended learning outcomes

During this course the students will learn concepts and techniques of formal languages, automata, computability and complexity, relevant for the engineering practice. They are applied, among others, in systems modeling and verification and in compiler construction. They also allow to reason if a computational problem at hand can be solved at all and if it has an efficient solution. After this course, a student will be able to use techniques of:

  • formal language definition by accepting automata and by formal grammars,
  • transformation of such definitions,
  • analysis of decidability of algorithmic problems
  • complexity analysis.
and demonstrate knowledge concerning
  • the basic rules and regulations for advanced studies and how to apply the ethical code of academia in their own studies,
  • the requirements of reports and exams in their education.

Course content

  • Finite automata and regular languages.
  • Push-down automata and Context-free languages.
  • Turing Machines and Church-Turing Thesis.
  • The notion of decidability; important undecidable problems.
  • Techniques for checking undecidability.
  • Big-Oh-notation, techniques for analysis of algorithms.
  • Time complexity classes P, NP.
  • NP-completeness and its practical relevance.
  • Basics of space complexity.
The course also includes university rules, ethical rules, academic writing and reporting and how to prepare for examination.

Teaching and working methods

Lectures present the theory and seminars are devoted to problem solving.
The course runs over the entire autumn semester.


TEN1Written examinationU, 3, 4, 53 credits
UPG2Assignments - academic studiesU, G2 credits
UPG3Assignments - computationU, G1 credits


Four-grade scale, LiU, U, 3, 4, 5

Other information

Supplemenatary courses: Compiler construction


Institutionen för datavetenskap

Director of Studies or equivalent

Ahmed Rezine


Christer Bäckström

Course website and other links

Education components

Preliminary scheduled hours: 54 h
Recommended self-study hours: 106 h

Course literature

Additional literature

Michael Sipser, (2006) Introduction to the Theory of Computation 2nd editionThomas A. Sudkamp, (2006) Languages and Machines 3d edition

Additional literature


Michael Sipser, (2006) Introduction to the Theory of Computation 2nd edition
Thomas A. Sudkamp, (2006) Languages and Machines 3d edition
TEN1 Written examination U, 3, 4, 5 3 credits
UPG2 Assignments - academic studies U, G 2 credits
UPG3 Assignments - computation U, G 1 credits

Regulations (apply to LiU in its entirety)

The university is a government agency whose operations are regulated by legislation and ordinances, which include the Higher Education Act and the Higher Education Ordinance. In addition to legislation and ordinances, operations are subject to several policy documents. The Linköping University rule book collects currently valid decisions of a regulatory nature taken by the university board, the vice-chancellor and faculty/department boards.

LiU’s rule book for education at first-cycle and second-cycle levels is available at 

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