We present techniques to prove termination and innermost termination of term rewriting systems automatically. In contrast to previous approaches, we do not compare left- and right-hand sides of rewrite rules, but introduce the notion of dependency pairs to compare left-hand sides with special subterms of the right-hand sides. This results in a technique which allows to apply existing methods for automated termination proofs to term rewriting systems where they failed up to now. In particular, there are numerous term rewriting systems where a direct termination proof with simplification orderings is not possible, but in combination with our technique, well-known simplification orderings (such as the recursive path ordering, polynomial orderings, or the Knuth-Bendix ordering) can now be used to prove termination automatically. Unlike previous methods, our technique for proving innermost termination automatically can also be applied to prove innermost termination of term rewriting systems that are not terminating. Moreover, as innermost termination implies termination for certain classes of term rewriting systems, this technique can also be used for termination proofs of such systems. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Arts, T., & Giesl, J. (2000). Termination of term rewriting using dependency pairs. Theoretical Computer Science, 236(1–2), 133–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3975(99)00207-8