Capture-Avoiding Substitution as a Nominal Algebra

  • Murdoch J. Gabbay
  • Aad Mathijssen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4281)


Substitution is fundamental to computer science, underlying for example quantifiers in predicate logic and beta-reduction in the lambda-calculus. So is substitution something we define on syntax on a case-by-case basis, or can we turn the idea of ‘substitution’ into a mathematical object?

We exploit the new framework of Nominal Algebra to axiomatise substitution. We prove our axioms sound and complete with respect to a canonical model; this turns out to be quite hard, involving subtle use of results of rewriting and algebra.


Predicate Logic Natural Deduction Nominal Term Ground Term Lambda Calculus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murdoch J. Gabbay
    • 1
  • Aad Mathijssen
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mathematical and Computer SciencesHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghScotland, Great Britain
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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