Automated Deduction By Theory Resolution


Stickel, M. E. (1985). Automated deduction by theory resolution. Journal of Automated Reasoning, 1(4), 333-355.


Theory resolution constitutes a set of complete procedures for incorporating theories into a resolution theorem-proving program, thereby making it unnecessary to resolve directly upon axioms of the theory. This can greatly reduce the length of proofs and the size o the search space. Theory resolution effects a beneficial division of labor, improving the performance of the theorem prover and increasing the applicability of the specialized reasoning procedures. Total theory resolution utilizes a decision procedure that is capable of determining unsatisfiability of any set of clauses using predicates in the theory. Partial theory resolution employs a weaker decision procedure that can determine potential unsatisfiability of sets of literals. Applications include the building in of both mathematical and special decision procedures, e.g., for the taxonomic information furnished by a knowledge representation system. Theory resolution is a generalization of numerous previously known resolution refinements. Its power is demonstrated by comparing solutions of “Schubert’s Steamroller’’ challenge problem with or without building in axioms through theory resolution.

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