Translating Machine-Generated Resolution Proofs into ND-Proofs at the Assertion Level
- Most automated theorem provers suffer from the problemthat the resulting proofs are difficult to understand even for experiencedmathematicians. An effective communication between the system andits users, however, is crucial for many applications, such as in a mathematical assistant system. Therefore, efforts have been made to transformmachine generated proofs (e.g. resolution proofs) into natural deduction(ND) proofs. The state-of-the-art procedure of proof transformation fol-lows basically its completeness proof: the premises and the conclusionare decomposed into unit literals, then the theorem is derived by mul-tiple levels of proofs by contradiction. Indeterminism is introduced byheuristics that aim at the production of more elegant results. This inde-terministic character entails not only a complex search, but also leads tounpredictable results.In this paper we first study resolution proofs in terms of meaningful op-erations employed by human mathematicians, and thereby establish acorrespondence between resolution proofs and ND proofs at a more ab-stract level. Concretely, we show that if its unit initial clauses are CNFsof literal premises of a problem, a unit resolution corresponds directly toa well-structured ND proof segment that mathematicians intuitively un-derstand as the application of a definition or a theorem. The consequenceis twofold: First it enhances our intuitive understanding of resolutionproofs in terms of the vocabulary with which mathematicians talk aboutproofs. Second, the transformation process is now largely deterministicand therefore efficient. This determinism also guarantees the quality ofresulting proofs.