Universality of Proofs (Dagstuhl seminar 16421)

Oct 16 - 21, 2016 · Wadern, Germany

Proof systems are software systems that allow us to build formal proofs, either interactively or automatically, and to check the correctness of such proofs. Building such a formal proof is always a difficult task -- for instance the Feit-Thompson odd order theorem, the CompCert verified C compiler, the seL4 verified operating system micro-kernel, and the proof of the Kepler conjecture required several years with a medium to large team of developers to be completed. Moreover, the fact that each of these proofs is formalized in a specific logic and the language of a specific proof tool is a severe limitation to its dissemination within the community of mathematicians and computer scientists. Compared to many other branches of computer science, for instance software engineering, we are still very far from having off-the-shelf and ready-to-use components, "proving in the large" techniques, and interoperability of theory and systems. However, several teams around the world are working on this issue and partial solutions have been proposed including point-to-point translations, proof standards, and logical frameworks. Yet, a lot still remains to be done as there is currently no overarching general foundation and methodology.

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