Semantic basis for the termination analysis of logic programs

Michael Codish, Cohavit Taboch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


This paper presents a formal semantic basis for the termination analysis of logic programs. The semantics exhibits the termination properties of a logic program through its binary unfoldings - a possibly infinite set of binary clauses. Termination of a program P and goal G is determined by the absence of an infinite chain in the binary unfoldings of P starting with G. The result is of practical use as basing termination analysis on a formal semantics facilitates both the design and implementation of analyzers. A simple Prolog interpreter for binary unfoldings coupled with an abstract domain based on symbolic norm constraints is proposed as an implementation vehicle. We illustrate its application using two recently proposed abstract domains. Both the techniques are implemented using a standard CLP(R) library. The combination of an interpreter for binary unfoldings and a constraint solver simplifies the design of the analyzer and improves its efficiency significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-123
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Logic Programming
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Logic


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