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Categorical Term Rewriting: Monads and Modularity
 University of Edinburgh
, 1998
"... Term rewriting systems are widely used throughout computer science as they provide an abstract model of computation while retaining a comparatively simple syntax and semantics. In order to reason within large term rewriting systems, structuring operations are used to build large term rewriting syste ..."
Abstract

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Term rewriting systems are widely used throughout computer science as they provide an abstract model of computation while retaining a comparatively simple syntax and semantics. In order to reason within large term rewriting systems, structuring operations are used to build large term rewriting systems from smaller ones. Of particular interest is whether key properties are modular, thatis,ifthe components of a structured term rewriting system satisfy a property, then does the term rewriting system as a whole? A body of literature addresses this problem, but most of the results and proofs depend on strong syntactic conditions and do not easily generalize. Although many specific modularity results are known, a coherent framework which explains the underlying principles behind these results is lacking. This thesis posits that part of the problem is the usual, concrete and syntaxoriented semantics of term rewriting systems, and that a semantics is needed which on the one hand elides unnecessary syntactic details but on the other hand still possesses enough expressive power to model the key concepts arising from