Understanding Unification and Pattern Matching in Elixir

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Understanding Unification and Pattern Matching in Elixir

Source: ericpfahl.com

Type: Post

Eric Pfahl's article dives into the powerful pattern matching capabilities of Elixir, a feature inspired by Erlang and Prolog. The discussion centers around the concept of unification, an extension of Elixir's pattern matching, where variables can appear on both sides of an equation. The article explains the unification algorithm, detailing the data structures and steps involved, such as walking substitutions and handling variable assignments. Pfahl provides practical examples and code snippets to build a working Elixir unification mechanism from scratch, including the types of terms, variables, and substitutions. Further examples illustrate concepts like logical conjunction and disjunction, showing how unification can be used in logic programming. The article concludes by encouraging readers to experiment with the provided code and to look forward to a follow-up post on more advanced logical operations.

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