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We propose an approach to the problem of proof control for our new first-order inductive theorem prover QuodLibet that is characterized by a great deal of flexibility w.r.t. the forms of proof control the prover supports. The approach is based on so-called (proof) tactics, i.e. proof control routines written in a special proof control language named QML. QuodLibet provides a set of tactics (in addition to the elementary inference rules), which range from tactics for trivial simplification steps to tactics representing comprehensive inductive proof strategies. Moreover, QuodLibet allows new tactics that are written by the user in QML to be integrated into the system to dynamically extend its functionality.

We propose a specification language for the formalization of data types with par-tial or non-terminating operations as part of a rewrite-based logical frameworkfor inductive theorem proving. The language requires constructors for designat-ing data items and admits positive/negative conditional equations as axioms inspecifications. The (total algebra) semantics for such specifications is based onso-called data models. We present admissibility conditions that guarantee theunique existence of a distinguished data model with properties similar to thoseof the initial model of a usual equational specification. Since admissibility of aspecification requires confluence of the induced rewrite relation, we provide aneffectively testable confluence criterion which does not presuppose termination.

We present an inference system for clausal theorem proving w.r.t. various kinds of inductivevalidity in theories specified by constructor-based positive/negative-conditional equations. The reductionrelation defined by such equations has to be (ground) confluent, but need not be terminating. Our con-structor-based approach is well-suited for inductive theorem proving in the presence of partially definedfunctions. The proposed inference system provides explicit induction hypotheses and can be instantiatedwith various wellfounded induction orderings. While emphasizing a well structured clear design of theinference system, our fundamental design goal is user-orientation and practical usefulness rather thantheoretical elegance. The resulting inference system is comprehensive and relatively powerful, but requiresa sophisticated concept of proof guidance, which is not treated in this paper.This research was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 314 (D4-Projekt)