In this thesis we present formal logical systems, concerned with reasoning about algebraic data types.
The first formal system is based on the quantifier-free calculus (outermost universally quantified). This calculus is comprised of state change rules, and computations are performed by successive applications of these rules. Thereby, our calculus gives rise to an abstract decision procedure. This decision procedure determines if a given formula involving algebraic type members is valid. It is shown that this calculus is sound and complete. We also examine how this system performs practically and give experimental results. Our main contribution, as compared to previous work on this subject,is a new and more efficient decision procedure for checking satisfiability of the universal fragment within the theory of algebraic data types.
The second formal system, called Term Builder, is the deductive system based on higher order type theory, which subsumes second order and higher order logics. The main purpose of this calculus is to formulate and prove theorems about algebraic or other arbitrary user-defined types.Term Builder supports proof objects and is both, an interactive theorem prover, and verifier. We describe the built-in deductive capabilities of Term Builder and show its consistency. The logic represented by our prover is intuitionistic. Naturally, it is also incomplete and undecidable, but its expressive power is much higher than that of the first formal system.
Among our achievements in building this theorem prover is an elegant and intuitive GUI for building proofs. Also, a new feature from the foundational viewpoint is that, in contrast with other approaches, we have uniqueness-of-types property, which is not modulo beta-conversion.