Section: Research Program

Developing a foundational approach to defining proof evidence

The team is developing a framework for defining the semantics of proof evidence. With this framework, implementers of theorem provers can output proof evidence in a format of their choice: they will only need to be able to formally define that evidence's semantics. With such semantics provided, proof checkers can then check alleged proofs for correctness. Thus, anyone who needs to trust proofs from various provers can put their energies into designing trustworthy checkers that can execute the semantic specification.

In order to provide our framework with the flexibility that this ambitious plan requires, we have based our design on the most recent advances within the theory of proofs. For a number of years, various team members have been contributing to the design and theory of focused proof systems [33] [35] [37] [38] [46] [55] [56] and we have adopted such proof systems as the corner stone for our framework.

We have also been working for a number of years on the implementation of computational logic systems, involving, for example, both unification and backtracking search. As a result, we are also building an early and reference implementation of our semantic definitions.