doc-src/preface.tex

changeset 285 | fd4a6585e5bf |

child 304 | 5edc4f5e5ebd |

--- /dev/null Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 1970 +0000 +++ b/doc-src/preface.tex Mon Mar 21 10:51:28 1994 +0100 @@ -0,0 +1,149 @@ +\chapter*{Preface} +\markboth{Preface}{Preface} %or Preface ? +\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Preface} + +\index{Isabelle!object-logics supported} + +Most theorem provers support a fixed logic, such as first-order or +equational logic. They bring sophisticated proof procedures to bear upon +the conjectured formula. An impressive example is the resolution prover +Otter, which Quaife~\cite{quaife-book} has used to formalize a body of +mathematics. + +ALF~\cite{alf}, Coq~\cite{coq} and Nuprl~\cite{constable86} each support a +fixed logic too, but one far removed from first-order logic. They are +explicitly concerned with computation. A diverse collection of logics --- +type theories, process calculi, $\lambda$-calculi --- may be found in the +Computer Science literature. Such logics require proof support. Few proof +procedures exist, but the theorem prover can at least check that each +inference is valid. + +A {\bf generic} theorem prover is one that can support many different +logics. Most of these \cite{dawson90,mural,sawamura92} work by +implementing a syntactic framework that can express the features of typical +inference rules. Isabelle's distinctive feature is its representation of +logics using a meta-logic. This meta-logic is just a fragment of +higher-order logic; known proof theory may be used to demonstrate that the +representation is correct~\cite{paulson89}. The representation has much in +common with the Edinburgh Logical Framework~\cite{harper-jacm} and with +Felty's~\cite{felty93} use of $\lambda$Prolog to implement logics. + +An inference rule in Isabelle is a generalized Horn clause. Rules are +joined to make proofs by resolving such clauses. Logical variables in +goals can be instantiated incrementally. But Isabelle is not a resolution +theorem prover like Otter. Isabelle's clauses are drawn from a richer, +higher-order language and a fully automatic search would be impractical. +Isabelle does not join clauses automatically, but under strict user +control. You can conduct single-step proofs, use Isabelle's built-in proof +procedures, or develop new proof procedures using tactics and tacticals. + +Isabelle's meta-logic is higher-order, based on the typed +$\lambda$-calculus. So resolution cannot use ordinary unification, but +higher-order unification~\cite{huet75}. This complicated procedure gives +Isabelle strong support for many logical formalisms involving variable +binding. + +The diagram below illustrates some of the logics distributed with Isabelle. +These include first-order logic (intuitionistic and classical), the sequent +calculus, higher-order logic, Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory~\cite{suppes72}, +a version of Constructive Type Theory~\cite{nordstrom90}, several modal +logics, and a Logic for Computable Functions. Several experimental +logics are also available, such a term assignment calculus for linear +logic. + +\centerline{\epsfbox{Isa-logics.eps}} + + +\section*{How to read this book} +Isabelle is a large system, but beginners can get by with a few commands +and a basic knowledge of how Isabelle works. Some knowledge of +Standard~\ML{} is essential because \ML{} is Isabelle's user interface. +Advanced Isabelle theorem proving can involve writing \ML{} code, possibly +with Isabelle's sources at hand. My book on~\ML{}~\cite{paulson91} covers +much material connected with Isabelle, including a simple theorem prover. + +The Isabelle documentation is divided into three parts, which serve +distinct purposes: +\begin{itemize} +\item {\em Introduction to Isabelle\/} describes the basic features of + Isabelle. This part is intended to be read through. If you are + impatient to get started, you might skip the first chapter, which + describes Isabelle's meta-logic in some detail. The other chapters + present on-line sessions of increasing difficulty. It also explains how + to derive rules define theories, and concludes with an extended example: + a Prolog interpreter. + +\item {\em The Isabelle Reference Manual\/} contains information about most + of the facilities of Isabelle, apart from particular object-logics. This + part would make boring reading, though browsing might be useful. Mostly + you should use it to locate facts quickly. + +\item {\em Isabelle's Object-Logics\/} describes the various logics + distributed with Isabelle. Its final chapter explains how to define new + logics. The other chapters are intended for reference only. +\end{itemize} +This book should not be read from start to finish. Instead you might read +a couple of chapters from {\em Introduction to Isabelle}, then try some +examples referring to the other parts, return to the {\em Introduction}, +and so forth. Starred sections discuss obscure matters and may be skipped +on a first reading. + + + +\section*{Releases of Isabelle}\index{Isabelle!release history} +Isabelle was first distributed in 1986. The 1987 version introduced a +higher-order meta-logic with an improved treatment of quantifiers. The +1988 version added limited polymorphism and support for natural deduction. +The 1989 version included a parser and pretty printer generator. The 1992 +version introduced type classes, to support many-sorted and higher-order +logics. The 1993 version provides greater support for theories and is +much faster. + +Isabelle is still under development. Projects under consideration include +better support for inductive definitions, some means of recording proofs, a +graphical user interface, and developments in the standard object-logics. +I hope but cannot promise to maintain upwards compatibility. + +Isabelle is available by anonymous ftp: +\begin{itemize} +\item University of Cambridge\\ + host {\tt ftp.cl.cam.ac.uk}\\ + directory {\tt ml} + +\item Technical University of Munich\\ + host {\tt ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de}\\ + directory {\tt local/lehrstuhl/nipkow} +\end{itemize} +My electronic mail address is {\tt lcp\at cl.cam.ac.uk}. Please report any +errors you find in this book and your problems or successes with Isabelle. + + +\subsection*{Acknowledgements} +Tobias Nipkow has made immense contributions to Isabelle, including the +parser generator, type classes, the simplifier, and several object-logics. +He also arranged for several of his students to help. Carsten Clasohm +implemented the theory database; Markus Wenzel implemented macros; Sonia +Mahjoub and Karin Nimmermann also contributed. + +Nipkow and his students wrote much of the documentation underlying this +book. Nipkow wrote the first versions of \S\ref{sec:defining-theories}, +Chap.\ts\ref{simp-chap}, Chap.\ts\ref{Defining-Logics} and part of +Chap.\ts\ref{theories}, and App.\ts\ref{app:TheorySyntax}. Carsten Clasohm +contributed to Chap.\ts\ref{theories}. Markus Wenzel contributed to +Chap.\ts\ref{Defining-Logics}. + +David Aspinall, Sara Kalvala, Ina Kraan, Zhenyu Qian, Norbert Voelker and +Markus Wenzel suggested changes and corrections to the documentation. + +Martin Coen, Rajeev Gor\'e, Philippe de Groote and Philippe No\"el helped +to develop Isabelle's standard object-logics. David Aspinall performed +some useful research into theories and implemented an Isabelle Emacs mode. +Isabelle was developed using Dave Matthews's Standard~{\sc ml} compiler, +Poly/{\sc ml}. + +The research has been funded by numerous SERC grants dating from the Alvey +programme (grants GR/E0355.7, GR/G53279, GR/H40570) and by ESPRIT (projects +3245: Logical Frameworks and 6453: Types). + + +\index{ML}