Section: Scientific Foundations

Deep inference

Deep inference [40] , [42] is a novel methodology for presenting deductive systems. Unlike traditional formalisms like the sequent calculus, it allows rewriting of formulas deep inside arbitrary contexts. The new freedom for designing inference rules creates a richer proof theory. For example, for systems using deep inference, we have a greater variety of normal forms for proofs than in sequent calculus or natural deduction systems. Another advantage of deep inference systems is the close relationship to categorical proof theory. Due to the deep inference design one can directly read off the morphism from the derivations. There is no need for a counter-intuitive translation.

The following research problems are investigated by members of the Parsifal team:

  • Find deep inference system for richer logics. This is necessary for making the proof theoretic results of deep inference accessible to applications as they are described in the previous sections of this report.

  • Investigate the possibility of focusing proofs in deep inference. As described before, focusing is a way to reduce the non-determinism in proof search. However, it is well investigated only for the sequent calculus. In order to apply deep inference in proof search, we need to develop a theory of focusing for deep inference.