Unification revisited

J. L. Lassez, M. J. Maher, K. Marriott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In the literature unification is often treated as a simple and straightforward matter, even though it is recognized as a deep and fundamental concept. However when a thorough presentation is attempted, it is then realized that the matter is fairly subtle and treacherous. For instance the notion of most general unifier and its property of being unique up to renaming are open to different interpretations. In fact there are several approaches to unification, based on different mathematical concepts, which are not equivalent. We present here the alternatives and clarify their relationships. In the process new results are obtained related to the notions of equation solving, most specific generalization and constraint solving. This leads to a comprehensive presentation of an elementary theory of unification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoundations of Logic and Functional Programming - Workshop, Proceedings
EditorsLuigia Carlucci Aiello, Giorgio Levi, Mauro Boscarol
Number of pages47
ISBN (Print)9783540191292
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes
EventWorkshop on Foundations of Logic and Functional Programming, 1986 - Trento, Italy
Duration: 15 Dec 198619 Dec 1986

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume306 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceWorkshop on Foundations of Logic and Functional Programming, 1986

Cite this