Tags:functional programming, higher-order unification, lambda calculus, nominal unification and program transformations

Abstract:

Automated deduction in higher-order program calculi, where properties of transformation rules are demanded, or confluence or other equational properties are requested, can often be done by syntactically computing overlaps (critical pairs) of reduction rules and transformation rules. Since higher-order calculi have alpha-equivalence as fundamental equivalence, the reasoning procedure must deal with it. We define ASD1-unification problems, which are higher-order equational unification problems employing variables for atoms, expressions and contexts, with additional distinct-variable constraints, and which have to be solved w.r.t. alpha-equivalence. Our proposal is to extend nominal unification to solve these unification problems. We succeeded in constructing the nominal unification algorithm NomUnifyASC. We show that NomUnifyASC is sound and complete for these problem class, and outputs a set of unifiers with constraints in nondeterministic polynomial time if the final constraints are satisfiable. We also show that solvability of the output constraints can be decided in NEXPTIME, and for a fixed number of context-variables in NP time. For terms without context-variables and atom-variables, NomUnifyASC runs in polynomial time, is unitary, and extends the classical problem by permitting distinct-variable constraints.

Nominal Unification with Atom and Context Variables