What can be learned from failed proofs of non-theorems?
Dennis, Louise Abigail and Nogueira, Pablo (2005) What can be learned from failed proofs of non-theorems? In: Theorem Proving in Higher Order Logics: Emerging Trends Proceedings, September, Oxford.
This paper reports an investigation into the link between failed proofs and non-theorems. It seeks to answer the question of whether anything more can be learned from a failed proof attempt than can be discovered from a counter-example. We suggest that the branch of the proof in which failure occurs can be mapped back to the segments of code that are the culprit, helping to locate the error. This process of tracing provides finer grained isolation of the offending code fragments than is possible from the inspection of counter-examples. We also discuss ideas for how such a process could be automated.
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