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Automated Theorem Proving

Published Online: 15 JAN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse434

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

2008. Automated Theorem Proving. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2008

Abstract

Automated theorem proving is the study of techniques for programming computers to search for proofs of formal assertions, either fully automatically or with varying degrees of human guidance. This discipline is potentially of tremendous value, because reasoning and inference underlie so many human activities. Automated (or mechanical) theorem proving is based on a foundation of formal logic that has been developed over the past several centuries by mathematicians and philosophers. This heritage of formal logic is often taken for granted, despite the tremendous amount of thought and effort that went into its development. The possibility that theorem proving programs can exist is closely tied to some properties of formal logic, which we now describe.

Keywords:

  • logic;
  • proofs;
  • quantifiers;
  • theorem;
  • syntax;
  • semantics