@MISC{McBride01first-orderunification, author = {Conor McBride}, title = {First-Order Unification by Structural Recursion}, year = {2001} }

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Abstract

First-order unification algorithms (Robinson, 1965) are traditionally implemented via general recursion, with separate proofs for partial correctness and termination. The latter tends to involve counting the number of unsolved variables and showing that this total decreases each time a substitution enlarges the terms. There are many such proofs in the literature, for example, (Manna & Waldinger, 1981; Paulson, 1985; Coen, 1992; Rouyer, 1992; Jaume, 1997; Bove, 1999). This paper