is an element x such that f(x) = x. A least fixed point is one that, among all the fixed points of f, is lowest in some partial ordering that has been imposed on the elements of X. Specifically, if ← is a partial ordering of X then x is a least fixed point if for fixed point y we have x ← y.
The most often-cited form of fixed-point theorem to do with computing is due originally to S. C. Kleene, and originated in recursive function theory. It states that, subject to certain assumptions, notably that f is continuous, f has a least fixed point, xf, which moreover can be characterized as the limit of a sequence x0,x1,x2,… of approximations. This abstract fact is of great relevance to the semantics of programming languages, in particular in specifying the precise meaning of constructs like iteration, recursion, and recursive types using equations.
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