Programming with Higher-Order Logic
Book by Dale Miller and Gopalan Nadathur
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Presentation Goals:
  • Introduce logic as programming via proof search and *substitution* for existentially quantified variables
  • Basic idea of differences between different logic programming languages
  • Examples of problems that can be solved with logic programming
  • Website as artifact for future reference, possibly extended with more explanation for learning and using the languages (
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Area for conventions?
Future: unification
Future: module system?
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Wikipedia links?
Talk about minimal vs intuitionistic logic?
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Page of definitions and links throughout page
Page with instructions on using lambda-prolog, linux, etc
Use (higher-order) typed logic to express relational specifications of computations and construct valid proofs of contextual queries
The first-order and higher-order distinction will be explored more later
We're used to defining functions to operate on data, e.g. a function for reversing lists that takes a list as input and returns the passed list reversed, but here we are seeing things relationally; a relation representing list reversal is between two lists, where one is the reverse of the other; usually the last argument represents the "output", but the whole expression is a formula
  • Encode terms of type list and predicates to define reversal
  • $\mathtt{reverse \; L_1 \; L_2}$ is true or false and can mean $\mathtt{L_2}$ is the reverse of $\mathtt{L_1}$
Encode and reason about other logics and languages
Using sequent calculus, computation is goal-directed proof search, so we start with what we want to prove at the root of a proof tree
Contrast this view of computation with:
  • Computation in functional languages as reductions to a normal form
  • Computation in imperative languages as updates to state