First-Order Logic Theorem Proving and Model Building via Approximation and Instantiation
In this paper we consider first-order logic theorem proving and model building via approximation and instantiation. Given a clause set we propose its approximation into a simplified clause set where satisfiability is decidable. The approximation extends the signature and preserves unsatisfiability: if the simplified clause set is satisfiable in some model, so is the original clause set in the same model interpreted in the original signature. A refutation generated by a decision procedure on the simplified clause set can then either be lifted to a refutation in the original clause set, or it guides a refinement excluding the previously found unliftable refutation. This way the approach is refutationally complete. We do not step-wise lift refutations but lift conflicting cores, finite unsatisfiable clause sets representing at least one refutation. The approach is dual to many existing approaches in the literature.
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