Automatically Proving Mathematical Theorems with Evolutionary Algorithms and Proof Assistants

by   Li-An Yang, et al.
National Chiao Tung University

Mathematical theorems are human knowledge able to be accumulated in the form of symbolic representation, and proving theorems has been considered intelligent behavior. Based on the BHK interpretation and the Curry-Howard isomorphism, proof assistants, software capable of interacting with human for constructing formal proofs, have been developed in the past several decades. Since proofs can be considered and expressed as programs, proof assistants simplify and verify a proof by computationally evaluating the program corresponding to the proof. Thanks to the transformation from logic to computation, it is now possible to generate or search for formal proofs directly in the realm of computation. Evolutionary algorithms, known to be flexible and versatile, have been successfully applied to handle a variety of scientific and engineering problems in numerous disciplines for also several decades. Examining the feasibility of establishing the link between evolutionary algorithms, as the program generator, and proof assistants, as the proof verifier, in order to automatically find formal proofs to a given logic sentence is the primary goal of this study. In the article, we describe in detail our first, ad-hoc attempt to fully automatically prove theorems as well as the preliminary results. Ten simple theorems from various branches of mathematics were proven, and most of these theorems cannot be proven by using the tactic auto alone in Coq, the adopted proof assistant. The implication and potential influence of this study are discussed, and the developed source code with the obtained experimental results are released as open source.


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