Beta reduction
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A beta reduction (also written β reduction) is the process of calculating a result from the application of a function to an expression.
For example, suppose we apply the function
(\x > 2*x*x + y)
7
7
x
(\x > 2*x*x + y)(7)
is reduced to the result
2*7*7 + y
This is a beta reduction.
(Further reductions could be applied to reduce2*7*7
98
(*)
Also see Lambda calculus and the wikipedia lambda calculus article.