Formalizing Mathematical Knowledge as a Biform Theory Graph: A Case Study Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • A biform theory is a combination of an axiomatic theory and an algorithmic theory that supports the integration of reasoning and computation. These are ideal for formalizing algorithms that manipulate mathematical expressions. A theory graph is a network of theories connected by meaning-preserving theory morphisms that map the formulas of one theory to the formulas of another theory. Theory graphs are in turn well suited for formalizing mathematical knowledge at the most convenient level of abstraction using the most convenient vocabulary. We are interested in the problem of whether a body of mathematical knowledge can be effectively formalized as a theory graph of biform theories. As a test case, we look at the graph of theories encoding natural number arithmetic. We used two different formalisms to do this, which we describe and compare. The first is realized in ${\rm CTT}_{\rm uqe}$, a version of Church's type theory with quotation and evaluation, and the second is realized in Agda, a dependently typed programming language.

publication date

  • 2017