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About changing the ordering during Knuth-Bendix completion

  • We will answer a question posed in [DJK91], and will show that Huet's completion algorithm [Hu81] becomes incomplete, i.e. it may generate a term rewriting system that is not confluent, if it is modified in a way that the reduction ordering used for completion can be changed during completion provided that the new ordering is compatible with the actual rules. In particular, we will show that this problem may not only arise if the modified completion algorithm does not terminate: Even if the algorithm terminates without failure, the generated finite noetherian term rewriting system may be non-confluent. Most existing implementations of the Knuth-Bendix algorithm provide the user with help in choosing a reduction ordering: If an unorientable equation is encountered, then the user has many options, especially, the one to orient the equation manually. The integration of this feature is based on the widespread assumption that, if equations are oriented by hand during completion and the completion process terminates with success, then the generated finite system is a maybe non terminating but locally confluent system (see e.g. [KZ89]). Our examples will show that this assumption is not true.

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Author:Andrea Sattler-Klein
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-3297
Serie (Series number):SEKI Report (93,19)
Document Type:Preprint
Language of publication:English
Year of Completion:1999
Year of Publication:1999
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Date of the Publication (Server):2000/04/03
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Informatik
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Standard gemäß KLUEDO-Leitlinien vor dem 27.05.2011