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The automation of proof: a historical and sociological exploration

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1 Author(s)
Mackenzie, Donald ; Dept. of Sociol., Edinburgh Univ., UK

This article reviews the history of the use of computers to automate mathematical proofs. It identifies three broad strands of work: automatic theorem proving where the aim is to simulate human processes of deduction; automatic theorem proving where any resemblance to how humans deduce is considered to be irrelevant; and interactive theorem proving, where the proof is directly guided by a human being. The first strand has been underpinned by commitment to the goal of artificial intelligence; practitioners of the second strand have been drawn mainly from mathematical logic; and the third strand has been rooted primarily in the verification of computer programs and hardware designs

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 3 )