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Bar Induction: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

by Vincent Rahli, Mark Bickford, Robert L. Constable

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We present an extension of the computation system and logic of the Nuprl proof assistant with intuitionistic principles, namely versions of Brouwer’s bar induction principle, which is equivalent to trans- finite induction. We have substantially extended the formalization of Nuprl’s type theory within the Coq proof assistant to show that two such bar induction principles are valid w.r.t. Nuprl’s semantics (the Good): one for sequences of numbers that involved only minor changes to the system, and a more general one for sequences of name-free (the Ugly) closed terms that involved adding a limit constructor to Nuprl’s term syntax in our model of Nuprl’s logic. We have proved that these additions preserve Nuprl’s key metatheoretical properties such as consistency. Finally, we show some new insights regarding bar induction, such as the nontruncated version of bar induction on monotone bars is intuitionistically false (the Bad) .

bibTex ref: RCB-756

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