, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 45-66

Strategic Construction of Fitch-style Proofs

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Symlog is a system for learning symbolic logic by computer that allows students to interactively construct proofs in Fitch-style natural deduction. On request, Symlog can provide guidance and advice to help a student narrow the gap between goal theorem and premises. To effectively implement this capability, the program was equipped with a theorem prover that constructs proofs using the same methods and techniques the students are being taught. This paper discusses some of the aspects of the theorem prover's design, including its set of proof-construction strategies, its unification algorithm as well as some of the tradeoffs between efficiency and pedagogy.