Simple Termination of Context-Sensitive Rewriting


Bernhard Gramlich and Salvador Lucas


Simple termination is the (often indirect) basis of most existing automatic techniques for proving termination of rule-based programs (e.g., Knuth-Bendix, polynomial, or recursive path orderings, but also DP-simple termination, etc.). An interesting framework for such programs is context-sensitive rewriting (CSR) that provides a bridge between the abstract world of general rewriting and the (more) applied setting of declarative specification and programming languages (e.g., OBJ*, CafeOBJ, ELAN, and Maude). In these languages, certain replacement restrictions can be specified in programs by the so-called strategy annotations. They may significantly improve the computational properties of programs, especially regarding their termination behaviour. Context-sensitive rewriting techniques (in particular, the methods for proving termination of CSR) have been proved useful for analyzing the properties of these programs. This entails the need to provide implementable methods for proving termination of CSR. Simplification orderings (corresponding to the notion of simple termination) which are well-known in term rewriting (and have nice properties) are, then, natural candidates for such an attempt. In this paper we introduce and investigate a corresponding notion of simple termination of CSR. We prove that our notion actually provides a unifying framework for proving termination of CSR by using standard simplification orderings via the existing (transformational) methods, and also covers CSRPO, a very recent proposal that extends the recursive path ordering (RPO) (a well-known simplification ordering) to context-sensitive terms. We also introduce polynomial orderings for dealing with (simple) termination of CSR. Finally, we also give criteria for the modularity of simple termination, for the case of disjoint unions as well as for constructor-sharing rewrite systems.


Context-sensitive rewriting, declarative programming, evaluation strategies, automatic proofs of termination; modular program analysis and verification.