We present a method for learning heuristics employed by an automated proverto control its inference machine. The hub of the method is the adaptation of theparameters of a heuristic. Adaptation is accomplished by a genetic algorithm.The necessary guidance during the learning process is provided by a proof prob-lem and a proof of it found in the past. The objective of learning consists infinding a parameter configuration that avoids redundant effort w.r.t. this prob-lem and the particular proof of it. A heuristic learned (adapted) this way canthen be applied profitably when searching for a proof of a similar problem. So,our method can be used to train a proof heuristic for a class of similar problems.A number of experiments (with an automated prover for purely equationallogic) show that adapted heuristics are not only able to speed up enormously thesearch for the proof learned during adaptation. They also reduce redundancies inthe search for proofs of similar theorems. This not only results in finding proofsfaster, but also enables the prover to prove theorems it could not handle before.
The well-known and powerful proof principle by well-founded induction says that for verifying \(\forall x : P (x)\) for some property \(P\) it suffices to show \(\forall x : [[\forall y < x :P (y)] \Rightarrow P (x)] \) , provided \(<\) is a well-founded partial ordering on the domainof interest. Here we investigate a more general formulation of this proof principlewhich allows for a kind of parameterized partial orderings \(<_x\) which naturallyarises in some cases. More precisely, we develop conditions under which theparameterized proof principle \(\forall x : [[\forall y <_x x : P (y)] \Rightarrow P (x)]\) is sound in thesense that \(\forall x : [[\forall y <_x x : P (y)] \Rightarrow P (x)] \Rightarrow \forall x : P (x)\) holds, and givecounterexamples demonstrating that these conditions are indeed essential.
We study the combination of the following already known ideas for showing confluence ofunconditional or conditional term rewriting systems into practically more useful confluence criteria forconditional systems: Our syntactic separation into constructor and non-constructor symbols, Huet's intro-duction and Toyama's generalization of parallel closedness for non-noetherian unconditional systems, theuse of shallow confluence for proving confluence of noetherian and non-noetherian conditional systems, theidea that certain kinds of limited confluence can be assumed for checking the fulfilledness or infeasibilityof the conditions of conditional critical pairs, and the idea that (when termination is given) only primesuperpositions have to be considered and certain normalization restrictions can be applied for the sub-stitutions fulfilling the conditions of conditional critical pairs. Besides combining and improving alreadyknown methods, we present the following new ideas and results: We strengthen the criterion for overlayjoinable noetherian systems, and, by using the expressiveness of our syntactic separation into constructorand non-constructor symbols, we are able to present criteria for level confluence that are not criteria forshallow confluence actually and also able to weaken the severe requirement of normality (stiffened withleft-linearity) in the criteria for shallow confluence of noetherian and non-noetherian conditional systems tothe easily satisfied requirement of quasi-normality. Finally, the whole paper also gives a practically usefuloverview of the syntactic means for showing confluence of conditional term rewriting systems.
Problems stemming from the study of logic calculi in connection with an infer-ence rule called "condensed detachment" are widely acknowledged as prominenttest sets for automated deduction systems and their search guiding heuristics. Itis in the light of these problems that we demonstrate the power of heuristics thatmake use of past proof experience with numerous experiments.We present two such heuristics. The first heuristic attempts to re-enact aproof of a proof problem found in the past in a flexible way in order to find a proofof a similar problem. The second heuristic employs "features" in connection withpast proof experience to prune the search space. Both these heuristics not onlyallow for substantial speed-ups, but also make it possible to prove problems thatwere out of reach when using so-called basic heuristics. Moreover, a combinationof these two heuristics can further increase performance.We compare our results with the results the creators of Otter obtained withthis renowned theorem prover and this way substantiate our achievements.