Comments on Kornfeld’s "Equality for Prolog": E-Unification as a Mechanism for Augmenting the Prolog Search Strategy

E. W. Elcock, O. Hoddinott

The search strategy of standard Prolog can lead to a situation in which a predicate has to be evaluated in circumstances where it has an infeasibly large number of instantiations. The work by Kornfeld [8] addressed this important problem by means of an extension of unification which allows Prolog to be augmented by what is essentially a (non-standard) equality theory. This paper uses the notion of the general procedure introduced by van Emden and Lloyd [12] to formalize Kornfeld’s work. In particular, the formalization is used to make a careful analysis and evaluation of Kornfeld’s solution to the problem of delayed evaluation.

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