Selected Papers of the Conference "Rewriting Techniques and Applications RTA 2010"


Editor: Christopher A. Lynch, Hubert Comon-Lundh

This special issue contains selected papers of the 21st International Conference on Rewriting Techniques and Applications (RTA 2010) which was held from July 11 to July 13, 2010, in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the 5th International Federated Logic Conference (FLOC 2010).

RTA is the major forum for the presentation of research on all aspects of rewriting. Previous RTA conferences were held in Dijon (1985), Bordeaux (1987), Chapel Hill (1989), Como (1991), Montreal (1993), Kaiserslautern (1995), Rutgers (1996), Sitges (1997), Tsukuba (1998), Trento (1999), Norwich (2000), Utrecht (2001), Copenhagen (2002), Valencia (2003), Aachen (2004), Nara (2005), Seattle (2006), Paris (2007), Hagenberg (2008) and Brasilia (2009).

Six of the twentythree papers presented at the conference were invited to submit an extended version to this special issue, and five of those papers were finally accepted for inclusion in this special issue, including "Partial Order Infinitary Term Rewriting" by Patrick Bahr, who was given the award for Best Contribution to RTA 2010 for his two papers. Each submitted paper was refereed by at least two expert referees.

My thanks go to the members of the Program Committee of RTA 2010 and their subreferees, as well as to all those who served in addition as reviewers for this special issue. I would also like to thank Benjamin Pierce, who was Managing Editor of LMCS, for having invited me to edit this special issue, and for his assistance and guidance.

Christopher Lynch
Guest Editor

1. Modular Complexity Analysis for Term Rewriting

Harald Zankl ; Martin Korp.
All current investigations to analyze the derivational complexity of term rewrite systems are based on a single termination method, possibly preceded by transformations. However, the exclusive use of direct criteria is problematic due to their restricted power. To overcome this limitation the article introduces a modular framework which allows to infer (polynomial) upper bounds on the complexity of term rewrite systems by combining different criteria. Since the fundamental idea is based on relative rewriting, we study how matrix interpretations and match-bounds can be used and extended to measure complexity for relative rewriting, respectively. The modular framework is proved strictly more powerful than the conventional setting. Furthermore, the results have been implemented and experiments show significant gains in power.

2. Towards 3-Dimensional Rewriting Theory

Samuel Mimram.
String rewriting systems have proved very useful to study monoids. In good cases, they give finite presentations of monoids, allowing computations on those and their manipulation by a computer. Even better, when the presentation is confluent and terminating, they provide one with a notion of canonical representative of the elements of the presented monoid. Polygraphs are a higher-dimensional generalization of this notion of presentation, from the setting of monoids to the much more general setting of n-categories. One of the main purposes of this article is to give a progressive introduction to the notion of higher-dimensional rewriting system provided by polygraphs, and describe its links with classical rewriting theory, string and term rewriting systems in particular. After introducing the general setting, we will be interested in proving local confluence for polygraphs presenting 2-categories and introduce a framework in which a finite 3-dimensional rewriting system admits a finite number of critical pairs.

3. Partial Order Infinitary Term Rewriting

Patrick Bahr.
We study an alternative model of infinitary term rewriting. Instead of a metric on terms, a partial order on partial terms is employed to formalise convergence of reductions. We consider both a weak and a strong notion of convergence and show that the metric model of convergence coincides with the partial order model restricted to total terms. Hence, partial order convergence constitutes a conservative extension of metric convergence, which additionally offers a fine-grained distinction between different levels of divergence. In the second part, we focus our investigation on strong convergence of orthogonal systems. The main result is that the gap between the metric model and the partial order model can be bridged by extending the term rewriting system by additional rules. These extensions are the well-known Böhm extensions. Based on this result, we are able to establish that -- contrary to the metric setting -- orthogonal systems are both infinitarily confluent and infinitarily normalising in the partial order setting. The unique infinitary normal forms that the partial order model admits are Böhm trees.

4. Infinitary Term Rewriting for Weakly Orthogonal Systems: Properties and Counterexamples

Joerg Endrullis ; Clemens Grabmayer ; Dimitri Hendriks ; Jan Willem Klop ; Vincent van Oostrom.
We present some contributions to the theory of infinitary rewriting for weakly orthogonal term rewrite systems, in which critical pairs may occur provided they are trivial. We show that the infinitary unique normal form property fails by an example of a weakly orthogonal TRS with two collapsing rules. By translating this example, we show that this property also fails for the infinitary lambda-beta-eta-calculus. As positive results we obtain the following: Infinitary confluence, and hence the infinitary unique normal forms property, holds for weakly orthogonal TRSs that do not contain collapsing rules. To this end we refine the compression lemma. Furthermore, we establish the triangle and diamond properties for infinitary multi-steps (complete developments) in weakly orthogonal TRSs, by refining an earlier cluster-analysis for the finite case.

5. Polynomial Interpretations over the Natural, Rational and Real Numbers Revisited

Friedrich Neurauter ; Aart Middeldorp.
Polynomial interpretations are a useful technique for proving termination of term rewrite systems. They come in various flavors: polynomial interpretations with real, rational and integer coefficients. As to their relationship with respect to termination proving power, Lucas managed to prove in 2006 that there are rewrite systems that can be shown polynomially terminating by polynomial interpretations with real (algebraic) coefficients, but cannot be shown polynomially terminating using polynomials with rational coefficients only. He also proved the corresponding statement regarding the use of rational coefficients versus integer coefficients. In this article we extend these results, thereby giving the full picture of the relationship between the aforementioned variants of polynomial interpretations. In particular, we show that polynomial interpretations with real or rational coefficients do not subsume polynomial interpretations with integer coefficients. Our results hold also for incremental termination proofs with polynomial interpretations.