We consider a deterministic rewrite system for combinatory logic over combinators $S,K,I,B,C,S',B'$, and $C'$. Terms will be represented by graphs so that reduction of a duplicator will cause the duplicated expression to be "shared" rather than copied. To each normalizing term we assign a weighting which is the number of reduction steps necessary to reduce the expression to normal form. A lambda-expression may be represented by several distinct expressions in combinatory logic, and two combinatory logic expressions are considered equivalent if they represent the same lambda-expression (up to $\beta $-$\eta $-equivalence). The problem of minimizing the number of reduction steps over equivalent combinator expressions (i.e., the problem of finding the "fastest running" combinator representation for a specific lambda-expression) is proved to be NP-complete by reduction from the "Hitting Set" problem.
"NP-Completeness of a Combinator Optimization Problem." Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 36 (2) 319 - 335, Spring 1995. https://doi.org/10.1305/ndjfl/1040248462