NP-Completeness of a Combinator Optimization Problem

Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 36 (2):319-335 (1995)
We consider a deterministic rewrite system for combinatory logic over combinators , and . Terms will be represented by graphs so that reduction of a duplicator will cause the duplicated expression to be "shared" rather than copied. To each normalizing term we assign a weighting which is the number of reduction steps necessary to reduce the expression to normal form. A lambda-expression may be represented by several distinct expressions in combinatory logic, and two combinatory logic expressions are considered equivalent if they represent the same lambda-expression (up to --equivalence). The problem of minimizing the number of reduction steps over equivalent combinator expressions (i.e., the problem of finding the "fastest running" combinator representation for a specific lambda-expression) is proved to be NP-complete by reduction from the "Hitting Set" problem
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DOI 10.1305/ndjfl/1040248462
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