Joerg Endrullis ; Roel de Vrijer ; Johannes Waldmann - Local Termination: theory and practice

lmcs:879 - Logical Methods in Computer Science, September 7, 2010, Volume 6, Issue 3 -
Local Termination: theory and practiceArticle

Authors: Joerg Endrullis ; Roel de Vrijer ; Johannes Waldmann

    The characterisation of termination using well-founded monotone algebras has been a milestone on the way to automated termination techniques, of which we have seen an extensive development over the past years. Both the semantic characterisation and most known termination methods are concerned with global termination, uniformly of all the terms of a term rewriting system (TRS). In this paper we consider local termination, of specific sets of terms within a given TRS. The principal goal of this paper is generalising the semantic characterisation of global termination to local termination. This is made possible by admitting the well-founded monotone algebras to be partial. We also extend our approach to local relative termination. The interest in local termination naturally arises in program verification, where one is probably interested only in sensible inputs, or just wants to characterise the set of inputs for which a program terminates. Local termination will be also be of interest when dealing with a specific class of terms within a TRS that is known to be non-terminating, such as combinatory logic (CL) or a TRS encoding recursive program schemes or Turing machines. We show how some of the well-known techniques for proving global termination, such as stepwise removal of rewrite rules and semantic labelling, can be adapted to the local case. We also describe transformations reducing local to global termination problems. The resulting techniques for proving local termination have in some cases already been automated. One of our applications concerns the characterisation of the terminating S-terms in CL as regular language. Previously this language had already been found via a tedious analysis of the reduction behaviour of S-terms. These findings have now been vindicated by a fully automated and verified proof.

    Volume: Volume 6, Issue 3
    Published on: September 7, 2010
    Imported on: October 30, 2009
    Keywords: Computer Science - Logic in Computer Science,D.3.1, F.4.1, F.4.2, I.1.1, I.1.3


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