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PRL Project

Automated Reasoning in Herbrand Structures

by Liron Cohen, Reuben Rowe, Yoni Zohar

Herbrand structures have the advantage, computationally speaking, of being guided by the definability of all elements in them. A salient feature of the logics induced by them is that they internally exhibit the induction scheme, thus providing a congenial, computationally oriented framework for formal inductive reasoning. Nonetheless, their enhanced expressivity renders any effective proof system for them incomplete. Furthermore, the fact that they are not compact poses yet another proof-theoretic challenge. This paper offers several layers for coping with the inherent incompleteness and non-compactness of these logics. First, two types of infinitary proof system are introduced—one of infinite width and one of infinite height—which manipulate infinite sequents and are sound and complete for the intended semantics. The restriction of these systems to finite sequents induces a completeness result for finite entailments. Then, in search of effectiveness, two finite approximations of these systems are presented and explored. Interestingly, the approximation of the infinite-width system via an explicit induction scheme turns out to be weaker than the effective cyclic fragment of the infinite-height system.