Termination proofs and the length of derivations
The derivation height of a term t, relative to a set R of rewrite rules, dh R (t), is the length of a longest derivation from t. We investigate in which way certain termination proof methods impose bounds on dh R . In particular we show that, if termination of R can be proved by polynomial interpretation then dh R is bounded from above by a doubly exponential function, whereas termination proofs by Knuth-Bendix ordering are possible even for systems where dh R cannot be bounded by any primitive recursive functions. For both methods, conditions are given which guarantee a singly exponential upper bound on dh R . Moreover, all upper bounds are tight.
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