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The reasoning power of human-oriented plan-based reasoning systems is primarilyderived from their domain-specific problem solving knowledge. Such knowledge is, how-ever, intrinsically incomplete. In order to model the human ability of adapting existingmethods to new situations we present in this work a declarative approach for represent-ing methods, which can be adapted by so-called meta-methods. Since apparently thesuccess of this approach relies on the existence of general and strong meta-methods,we describe several meta-methods of general interest in detail by presenting the prob-lem solving process of two familiar classes of mathematical problems. These examplesshould illustrate our philosophy of proof planning as well: besides planning with thecurrent repertoire of methods, the repertoire of methods evolves with experience inthat new ones are created by meta-methods which modify existing ones.

In this article we formally describe a declarative approach for encoding plan operatorsin proof planning, the so-called methods. The notion of method evolves from the much studiedconcept tactic and was first used by Bundy. While significant deductive power has been achievedwith the planning approach towards automated deduction, the procedural character of the tacticpart of methods, however, hinders mechanical modification. Although the strength of a proofplanning system largely depends on powerful general procedures which solve a large class ofproblems, mechanical or even automated modification of methods is nevertheless necessary forat least two reasons. Firstly methods designed for a specific type of problem will never begeneral enough. For instance, it is very difficult to encode a general method which solves allproblems a human mathematician might intuitively consider as a case of homomorphy. Secondlythe cognitive ability of adapting existing methods to suit novel situations is a fundamentalpart of human mathematical competence. We believe it is extremely valuable to accountcomputationally for this kind of reasoning.The main part of this article is devoted to a declarative language for encoding methods,composed of a tactic and a specification. The major feature of our approach is that the tacticpart of a method is split into a declarative and a procedural part in order to enable a tractableadaption of methods. The applicability of a method in a planning situation is formulatedin the specification, essentially consisting of an object level formula schema and a meta-levelformula of a declarative constraint language. After setting up our general framework, wemainly concentrate on this constraint language. Furthermore we illustrate how our methodscan be used in a Strips-like planning framework. Finally we briefly illustrate the mechanicalmodification of declaratively encoded methods by so-called meta-methods.

This paper concerns a knowledge structure called method , within a compu-tational model for human oriented deduction. With human oriented theoremproving cast as an interleaving process of planning and verification, the body ofall methods reflects the reasoning repertoire of a reasoning system. While weadopt the general structure of methods introduced by Alan Bundy, we make anessential advancement in that we strictly separate the declarative knowledgefrom the procedural knowledge. This is achieved by postulating some stand-ard types of knowledge we have identified, such as inference rules, assertions,and proof schemata, together with corresponding knowledge interpreters. Ourapproach in effect changes the way deductive knowledge is encoded: A newcompound declarative knowledge structure, the proof schema, takes the placeof complicated procedures for modeling specific proof strategies. This change ofparadigm not only leads to representations easier to understand, it also enablesus modeling the even more important activity of formulating meta-methods,that is, operators that adapt existing methods to suit novel situations. In thispaper, we first introduce briefly the general framework for describing methods.Then we turn to several types of knowledge with their interpreters. Finally,we briefly illustrate some meta-methods.

This report presents the main ideas underlyingtheOmegaGamma mkrp-system, an environmentfor the development of mathematical proofs. The motivation for the development ofthis system comes from our extensive experience with traditional first-order theoremprovers and aims to overcome some of their shortcomings. After comparing the benefitsand drawbacks of existing systems, we propose a system architecture that combinesthe positive features of different types of theorem-proving systems, most notably theadvantages of human-oriented systems based on methods (our version of tactics) andthe deductive strength of traditional automated theorem provers.In OmegaGamma mkrp a user first states a problem to be solved in a typed and sorted higher-order language (called POST ) and then applies natural deduction inference rules inorder to prove it. He can also insert a mathematical fact from an integrated data-base into the current partial proof, he can apply a domain-specific problem-solvingmethod, or he can call an integrated automated theorem prover to solve a subprob-lem. The user can also pass the control to a planning component that supports andpartially automates his long-range planning of a proof. Toward the important goal ofuser-friendliness, machine-generated proofs are transformed in several steps into muchshorter, better-structured proofs that are finally translated into natural language.This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 314 (D2, D3)

Planverfahren
(1999)

We show how to buildup mathematical knowledge bases usingframes. We distinguish three differenttypes of knowledge: axioms, definitions(for introducing concepts like "set" or"group") and theorems (for relating theconcepts). The consistency of such know-ledge bases cannot be proved in gen-eral, but we can restrict the possibilit-ies where inconsistencies may be impor-ted to very few cases, namely to the oc-currence of axioms. Definitions and the-orems should not lead to any inconsisten-cies because definitions form conservativeextensions and theorems are proved to beconsequences.

In most cases higher-order logic is based on the (gamma)-calculus in order to avoid the infinite set of so-called comprehension axioms. However, there is a price to be paid, namelyan undecidable unification algorithm. If we do not use the(gamma) - calculus, but translate higher-order expressions intofirst-order expressions by standard translation techniques, we haveto translate the infinite set of comprehension axioms, too. Ofcourse, in general this is not practicable. Therefore such anapproach requires some restrictions such as the choice of thenecessary axioms by a human user or the restriction to certainproblem classes. This paper will show how the infinite class ofcomprehension axioms can be represented by a finite subclass,so that an automatic translation of finite higher-order prob-lems into finite first-order problems is possible. This trans-lation is sound and complete with respect to a Henkin-stylegeneral model semantics.