The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

PhD Thesis #9915

Title:Automating Diagrammatic Proofs of Arithmetic Arguments
Date: 1999
Abstract:This thesis is on the automation of diagrammatic proofs, a novel approach to mechanised mathematical reasoning. Theorems in automated theorem proving are usually proved by formal logical proofs. However, there are some conjectures which humans can prove by the use of geometric operations on diagrams that somehow represent these conjectures, so called diagrammatic proofs. Insight is often more clearly perceived in these diagrammatic proofs than in the algebraic proofs. We are investigating and automating such diagrammatic reasoning about mathematical theorems.Concrete rather than general diagrams are used to prove ground instances of a universally quantified theorem. The diagrammatic proof in constructed by applying geometric operations to the diagram. These operations are in the inference steps of the proof. A general schematic proof is extracted from the ground instances of a proof. it is represented as a recursive program that consists of a general number of applications of geometric operations. When gien a particular diagram, a schematic proof generates a proof for that diagram. To verify that the schematic proof produces a correct proof of the conjecture for each ground instance we check its correctness in a theory of diagrams. We use the constructive omega-rule and schematic proofs to make a translation from concrete instances to a general argument about the diagrammatic proof.The realisation of our ideas is a diagrammatic reasoning system DIAMOND. DIAMOND allows a user to interactively construct instances of a diagrammatic proof. it then automatically abstracts these into a general schematic proof and checks the correctness of this proof using an inductive theorem prover......

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