Orthogonality (term rewriting)

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Orthogonality as a property of term rewriting systems describes where the reduction rules of the system are all left-linear, that is each variable occurs only once on the left hand side of each reduction rule, and there is no overlap between them.

Orthogonal term rewriting systems have the consequent property that all reducible expressions (redexes) within a term are completely disjoint -- that is, the redexes share no common function symbol.

For example, the term rewriting system with reduction rules

 \rho_1\ :\ f(x, y) \rightarrow g(y)
 \rho_2\ :\ h(y) \rightarrow f(g(y), y)

is orthogonal -- it is easy to observe that each reduction rule is left-linear, and the left hand side of each reduction rule shares no function symbol in common, so there is no overlap.

Orthogonal term rewriting systems are confluent.