DEPTH_CONV : conv -> conv

Applies a conversion repeatedly to all the sub-terms of a term, in bottom-up order.

DEPTH_CONV c tm repeatedly applies the conversion c to all the subterms of the term tm, including the term tm itself. The supplied conversion is applied repeatedly (zero or more times, as is done by REPEATC) to each subterm until it fails. The conversion is applied to subterms in bottom-up order.

DEPTH_CONV c tm never fails but can diverge if the conversion c can be applied repeatedly to some subterm of tm without failing.

The following example shows how DEPTH_CONV applies a conversion to all subterms to which it applies:
  # DEPTH_CONV BETA_CONV `(\x. (\y. y + x) 1) 2`;;
  val it : thm = |- (\x. (\y. y + x) 1) 2 = 1 + 2
Here, there are two beta-redexes in the input term, one of which occurs within the other. DEPTH_CONV BETA_CONV applies beta-conversion to innermost beta-redex (\y. y + x) 1 first. The outermost beta-redex is then (\x. 1 + x) 2, and beta-conversion of this redex gives 1 + 2. Because DEPTH_CONV applies a conversion bottom-up, the final result may still contain subterms to which the supplied conversion applies. For example, in:
  # DEPTH_CONV BETA_CONV `(\f x. (f x) + 1) (\y.y) 2`;;
  val it : thm = |- (\f x. f x + 1) (\y. y) 2 = (\y. y) 2 + 1
the right-hand side of the result still contains a beta-redex, because the redex `(\y.y)2` is introduced by virtue an application of BETA_CONV higher-up in the structure of the input term. By contrast, in the example:
  # DEPTH_CONV BETA_CONV `(\f x. (f x)) (\y.y) 2`;;
  val it : thm = |- (\f x. f x) (\y. y) 2 = 2
all beta-redexes are eliminated, because DEPTH_CONV repeats the supplied conversion (in this case, BETA_CONV) at each subterm (in this case, at the top-level term).

If the conversion c implements the evaluation of a function in logic, then DEPTH_CONV c will do bottom-up evaluation of nested applications of it. For example, the conversion ADD_CONV implements addition of natural number constants within the logic. Thus, the effect of:
  # DEPTH_CONV NUM_ADD_CONV `(1 + 2) + (3 + 4 + 5)`;;
  val it : thm = |- (1 + 2) + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15
is to compute the sum represented by the input term.