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On termination of meta-programs


The term meta-programming refers to the ability of writing programs that have other programs as data and exploit their semantics. The aim of this paper is presenting a methodology allowing us to perform a correct termination analysis for a broad class of practical meta-interpreters, including negation and performing different tasks during the execution. It is based on combining the power of general orderings, used in proving termination of term-rewrite systems and programs, and on the well-known acceptability condition, used in proving termination of logic programs. The methodology establishes a relationship between the ordering needed to prove termination of the interpreted program and the ordering needed to prove termination of the meta-interpreter together with this interpreted program. If such a relationship is established, termination of one of those implies termination of the other one, i.e. the meta-interpreter preserves termination. Among the meta-interpreters that are analysed correctly are a proof trees constructing meta-interpreter, different kinds of tracers and reasoners.

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Theory and Practice of Logic Programming
  • ISSN: 1471-0684
  • EISSN: 1475-3081
  • URL: /core/journals/theory-and-practice-of-logic-programming
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