Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

October 1991


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science, Technical Report No. MS-CIS-91-81.


Unification problems are identified with conjunctions of equations between simply typed λ-terms where free variables in the equations can be universally or existentially quantified. Two schemes for simplifying quantifier alternation, called Skolemization and raising (a dual of Skolemization), are presented. In this setting where variables of functional type can be quantified and not all types contain closed terms, the naive generalization of first-order Skolemization has several technical problems that are addressed. The method of searching for pre-unifiers described by Huet is easily extended to the mixed prefix setting, although solving flexible-flexible unification problems is undecidable since types may be empty. Unification problems may have numerous incomparable unifiers. Occasionally, unifiers share common factors and several of these are presented. Various optimizations on the general unification search problem are as discussed.



Date Posted: 15 August 2007