Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Automated theory formation in pure mathematics
Author: Colton, S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
We introduce the HR program, which implements a new model for theory formation. This model involves a cycle of mathematical activity, whereby concepts are formed, conjectures about the concepts are made and attempts to settle the conjectures are undertaken. HR has seven general production rules for producing a new concept from old ones and employs a best first search by building new concepts from the most interesting old ones before the less interesting ones. To enable this, HR has various measures which estimate the interestingness of a concept. During concept formation, HR uses empirical evidence to suggest conjectures and employs the Otter theorem prover to attempt to prove a given conjecture. If this fails, HR will invoke the MACE model generator to attempt to disprove the conjecture by finding a counterexample. Information from the attempt to settle a conjecture is used to assess the concepts involved in the conjecture, which fuels the heuristic search and closes the cycle. The main aim of the project has been to develop our model of theory formation and to implement this in HR. To describe the project in the thesis, we first motivate the problem of automated theory formation and survey the literature in this area. We then discuss how HR invents concepts, makes the settles conjectures and how it assesses the concepts and conjectures to facilitate a heuristic search. We present results to evaluate HR in terms of the quality of the theories it produces and the effectiveness of its techniques. A secondary aim of the project has been to apply HR to mathematical discovery and we discuss how HR has successfully invented new concepts and conjectures in number theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available