Summary and Info
Computer-Aided Reasoning: An Approach is a textbook introduction to computer-aided reasoning. It can be used in graduate and upper-division undergraduate courses on software engineering or formal methods. It is also suitable in conjunction with other books in courses on hardware design, discrete mathematics, or theory, especially courses stressing formalism, rigor, or mechanized support. It is also appropriate for courses on artificial intelligence or automated reasoning and as a reference for business and industry. Current hardware and software systems are often very complex and the trend is towards increased complexity. Many of these systems are of critical importance; therefore making sure that they behave as expected is also of critical importance. By modeling computing systems mathematically, we obtain models that we can prove behave correctly. The complexity of computing systems makes such proofs very long, complicated, and error-prone. To further increase confidence in our reasoning, we can use a computer program to check our proofs and even to automate some of their construction. In this book we present: A practical functional programming language closely related to Common Lisp which is used to define functions (which can model computing systems) and to make assertions about defined functions; A formal logic in which defined functions correspond to axioms; the logic is first-order, includes induction, and allows us to prove theorems about the functions; The computer-aided reasoning system ACL2, which includes the programming language, the logic, and mechanical support for the proof process. The ACL2 system has been successfully applied to projects of commercial interest, including microprocessor, modeling, hardware verification, microcode verification, and software verification. This book gives a methodology for modeling computing systems formally and for reasoning about those models with mechanized assistance. The practicality of computer-aided reasoning is further demonstrated in the companion book, Computer-Aided Reasoning: ACL2Case Studies. Approximately 140 exercises are distributed throughout the book. Additional material is freely available from the ACL2 home page on the Web, including solutions to the exercises, additional exercises, case studies from the companion book, research papers, and the ACL2 system with detailed documentation.