Reducible expression

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A reducible expression (redex for short) is an expression which matches the left-hand-side of some reduction rule or definition.

For example, given the definitions:

fac 0 = 1
fac n = n * fac (n-1)

then "fac 3" is a redex (because it matches left-hand-side of the second definition) but "fac" is not.

Operationally, a redex is any expression whose evaluation requires work to be done. For example, a function call with all of its arguments supplied is a redex, but a constant is not. This is useful, for example, in common subexpression elimination, which only saves work if the common subexpression is a redex.