The undecidability of the DA-Unification problem

Journal of Symbolic Logic 54 (2):402 - 414 (1989)
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Abstract

We show that the D A -unification problem is undecidable. That is, given two binary function symbols $\bigoplus$ and $\bigotimes$ , variables and constants, it is undecidable if two terms built from these symbols can be unified provided the following D A -axioms hold: \begin{align*}(x \bigoplus y) \bigotimes z &= (x \bigotimes z) \bigoplus (y \bigotimes z),\\x \bigotimes (y \bigoplus z) &= (x \bigotimes y) \bigoplus (x \bigotimes z),\\x \bigoplus (y \bigoplus z) &= (x \bigoplus y) \bigoplus z.\end{align*} Two terms are D A -unifiable (i.e. an equation is solvable in D A ) if there exist terms to be substituted for their variables such that the resulting terms are equal in the equational theory D A . This is the smallest currently known axiomatic subset of Hilbert's tenth problem for which an undecidability result has been obtained

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