A Prolog Technology Theorem Prover: A New Exposition and Implementation In Prolog


Stickel, M. E. (1992). A Prolog technology theorem prover: a new exposition and implementation in Prolog. Theoretical Computer Science, 104(1), 109-128.


A  Prolog technology theorem prover (PTTP) is an extension of Prolog that is complete for the full first-order predicate calculus. It differs from Prolog in its use of unification with the occurs check for soundness, depth-first iterative-deepening search instead of unbounded depth-first search to make the search strategy complete, and the model elimination reduction rule that is added to Prolog inferences to make the inference system complete. This paper describes a new Prolog-based implementation of PTTP. It uses three compile-time transformations to translate formulas into Prolog clauses that directly execute, with the support of a few run-time predicates, the model elimination procedure with depth-first iterative-deepening search and unification with the occurs check. Its high performance exceeds that of Prolog-based PTTP interpreters, and it is more concise and readable than the earlier Lisp-based compiler, which makes it superior for expository purposes. Examples of inputs and outputs of the compile-time transformations provide an easy and quite precise way to explain how PTTP works. This Prolog-based version makes it easier to incorporate PTTP theorem-proving ideas into Prolog programs. Some suggestions are made on extensions to Prolog that could be used to improve PTTP’s performance.

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