Computer Science Logic

Volume 4646 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 496-511

Unbounded Proof-Length Speed-Up in Deduction Modulo

  • Guillaume BurelAffiliated withUniversitè Henri Poincarè & LORIA, Campus scientifique BP 239 — 54506 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In 1973, Parikh proved a speed-up theorem conjectured by Gödel 37 years before: there exist arithmetical formulæ that are provable in first order arithmetic, but whose shorter proof in second order arithmetic is arbitrarily smaller than any proof in first order. On the other hand, resolution for higher order logic can be simulated step by step in a first order narrowing and resolution method based on deduction modulo, whose paradigm is to separate deduction and computation to make proofs clearer and shorter.

We prove that i + 1-th order arithmetic can be linearly simulated into i-th order arithmetic modulo some confluent and terminating rewrite system. We also show that there exists a speed-up between i-th order arithmetic modulo this system and i-th order arithmetic without modulo. All this allows us to prove that the speed-up conjectured by Gödel does not come from the deductive part of the proofs, but can be expressed as simple computation, therefore justifying the use of deduction modulo as an efficient first order setting simulating higher order.


proof theory rewriting higher order logic arithmetic