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PRL Project

Decidability Extracted: Synthesizing

by James L. Caldwell

Cornell University Ph.D Thesis

The topic of this thesis is the extraction of efficient and readable programs from formal constructive proofs of decidability. The proof methods employed to generate the efficient code are new and result in clean and readable Nuprl extracts for two non-trivial programs. They are based on the use of Nuprl's set type and techniques for extracting efficient programs from induction principles. The constructive formal theories required to express the decidability theorems are of independent interest. They formally circumscribe the mathematical knowledge needed to understand the derived algorithms. The formal theories express concepts that are taught at the senior college level. The decidability proofs themselves, depending on this material, are of interest and are presented in some detail. The proof of decidability of classical propositional logic is relative to a semantics based on Kleene's strong three-valued logic. The constructive proof of intuitionistic decidability presented here is the first machine formalization of this proof. The exposition reveals aspects of the Nuprl tactic collection relevant to the creation of readable proofs; clear extracts and efficient code are illustrated in the discussion of the proofs.

bibTex ref: Cal98b

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