Anti-unification in Constraint Logic Programming

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Abstract

Anti-unification refers to the process of generalizing two (or more) goals into a single, more general, goal that captures some of the structure that is common to all initial goals. In general one is typically interested in computing what is often called a most specific generalization, that is a generalization that captures a maximal amount of shared structure.

In this work we address the problem of anti-unification in CLP, where goals can be seen as unordered sets of atoms and/or constraints. We show that while the concept of a most specific generalization can easily be defined in this context, computing it becomes an NP-complete problem. We subsequently introduce a generalization algorithm that computes a well-defined abstraction whose computation can be bound to a polynomial execution time. Initial experiments show that even a naive implementation of our algorithm produces acceptable generalizations in an efficient way.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalTheory and Practice of Logic Programming
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2019

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Constraint Logic Programming
Logic programming
Unification
Computational complexity
Polynomials
Atoms
Unordered
Computing
Experiments
Execution Time
Well-defined
NP-complete problem
Generalization
Polynomial
Experiment

Keywords

  • Anti-unification
  • generalization
  • CLP
  • program analysis

Cite this

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abstract = "Anti-unification refers to the process of generalizing two (or more) goals into a single, more general, goal that captures some of the structure that is common to all initial goals. In general one is typically interested in computing what is often called a most specific generalization, that is a generalization that captures a maximal amount of shared structure. In this work we address the problem of anti-unification in CLP, where goals can be seen as unordered sets of atoms and/or constraints. We show that while the concept of a most specific generalization can easily be defined in this context, computing it becomes an NP-complete problem. We subsequently introduce a generalization algorithm that computes a well-defined abstraction whose computation can be bound to a polynomial execution time. Initial experiments show that even a naive implementation of our algorithm produces acceptable generalizations in an efficient way.",
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