A Breadth-First Strategy for Mating Search

  • Matthew Bishop
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1632)


Mating search is a very general method for automating proof search; it specifies that one must find a complete mating, without specifying the way in which this is to be achieved. It is the foundation of TPS, an automated theorem-proving system for simply-typed lambda-calculus, and has proven very effective in discovering proofs of higher-order theorems. However, previous implementations of mating search have all relied on essentially the same mating search method: enumerating the paths through a matrix of literals. This is a depth-first strategy which is both computationally expensive and vulnerable to blind alleys in the search space; in addition, the incremental computation of unifiers which is required is, in the higher-order case, very inefficient. We describe a new breadth-first mating search method, called component search, in which matings are constructed by taking unions from a fixed list of smaller matings, whose unifiers are stored and manipulated as directed graphs. Component search is capable of handling much larger search spaces than were possible with path-enumeration search, and has produced fully automatic proofs of a number of interesting theorems which were previously intractable.


Open Path Large Search Space Minimal Component Enumeration Search Vertical Path 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Bishop
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesCarnegie Mellon University PittsburghUSA

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