Title:

Computational logic : structure sharing and proof of program properties

This thesis describes the results of two studies in computational logic. The first concerns a very efficient method of implementing resolution theorem provers. The second concerns a nonresolution program which automatically proves many theorems about LISP functions, using structural induction. In Part 1, a method of representing clauses, called 'structure sharing'is presented. In this representation, terms are instantiated by binding their variables on a stack, or in a dictionary, and derived clauses are represented in terms of their parents. This allows the structure representing a clause to be used in different contexts without renaming its variables or copying it in any way. The amount of space required for a clause is (2 + n) 36bit words, where n is the number of components in the unifying substitution made for the resolution or factor. This is independant of the number of literals in the clause and the depth of function nesting. Several ways of making the unification algorithm more efficient are presented. These include a method od preprocessing the input terms so that the unifying substitution for derived terms can be discovered by a recursive lookup proceedure. Techniques for naturally mixing computation and deduction are presented. The structure sharing implementation of SLresolution is described in detail. The relationship between structure sharing and programming language implementations is discussed. Part 1 concludes with the presentation of a programming language, based on predicate calculus, with structure sharing as the natural implementation. Part 2 of this thesis describes a program which automatically proves a wide variety of theorems about functions written in a subset of pre LISP. Features of this program include: The program is fully automatic, requiring no information from the user except the LISP definitions of the functions involved and the statement of the theorem to be proved. No inductive assertions are required for the user. The program uses structural induction when required, automatically generating its own induction formulas. All relationships in the theorem are expressed in terms of user defined LISP functions, rather than a secong logical language. The system employs no builtin information about any nonprimitive function. All properties required of any function involved in a proof are derived and established automatically. The progeam is capable of generalizing some theorems in order to prove them; in doing so, it often generates interesting lemmas. The program can write new, recursive LISP functions automatically in attempting to generalize a theorem. Finally, the program is very fast by theorem proving standards, requiring around 10 seconds per proof.
