TitleNominal Unification from a Higher-Order Perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLevy J, Villaret M
JournalACM Transactions on Computational Logics
KeywordsNominal Unification

Nominal logic is an extension of first-order logic with equality, name-binding, renaming via name-swapping and freshness of names. Contrarily to lambda-terms, in nominal terms, bindable names, called atoms, and instantiable variables are considered as distinct entities. Moreover, atoms are capturable by instantiations, breaking a fundamental principle of the lambda-calculus. Despite these differences, nominal unification can be seen from a higher-order perspective. From this view, we show that nominal unification can be quadratically reduced to a particular fragment of higher-order unification problems: higher-order pattern unification. We also prove that the translation preserves most generality of unifiers.