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Extensible Unification as Basis for the Implementation of CLP Languages

Christian Holzbaur

We address various aspects of the proposal to use user-defined extensible unification as the basic formalism for the implementation of constraint logic programming (CLP) languages. The close connection between unification theory and CLP, exhibited through the theoretical work of Jaffar et al., justifies the proposed step to make this link explicit and, particularly, operational. We sketch how this can be done via extensible unification, a single, simple mechanism which automatically induces a minimum of uniformity in the realization of CLP languages. If CLP languages are implemented via extensible unification, they will inherit the capability of being extended on a sound basis, leading to the attractive construction of towers of metacircular CLP languages. In the conclusion we report on earlier and recent work that provides empirical evidence for the feasibility of the mechanism.

Keywords: , Logic Prog., Unification, Constraints

Citation: Holzbaur C.: Extensible Unification as Basis for the Implementation of CLP Languages, Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Vienna, TR-92-11, 1992.