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In my opinion, this is a very good and worthwhile question, but certainly not easy to answer. I don't have a full solution by any means, but as far as the comparison/matching part is concerned, the undocumented function Internal`ComparePatterns may be of substantial assistance. What follows is a short summary of what I know about this function, which exists ...


I am not an expert in the field, but ... According to Roman Maeder (and he is an expert): The process of unification should be easy to understand for Mathematica users, since a weaker form of it —pattern matching— is the fundamental operating principle of Mathematica’s evaluator. So, no unification is done in native Mma. If you need it, Maeder ...

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