Date: 10 Apr 2002

Using Animation in Diagrammatic Theorem Proving

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Diagrams have many uses in mathematics, one of the most ambitious of which is as a form of proof. The domain we consider is real analysis, where quantification issues are subtle but crucial. Computers offer new possibilities in diagrammatic reasoning, one of which is animation. Here we develop animated rules as a solution to problems of quantification. We show a simple application of this to constraint diagrams, and also how it can deal with the more complex questions of quantification and generalisation in diagrams that use more specific representations. This allows us to tackle difficult theorems that previously could only be proved algebraically.

This would probably not be suitable for domains which involve precise time calculations, as these would be hard to judge in an animation. For qualitative reasoning though, or as part of a mixed system, it seems an interesting line for future research.