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Cycling in proofs and feasibility
 Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
, 1998
"... Abstract. There is a common perception by which small numbers are considered more concrete and large numbers more abstract. A mathematical formalization of this idea was introduced by Parikh (1971) through an inconsistent theory of feasible numbers in which addition and multiplication are as usual b ..."
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Abstract. There is a common perception by which small numbers are considered more concrete and large numbers more abstract. A mathematical formalization of this idea was introduced by Parikh (1971) through an inconsistent theory of feasible numbers in which addition and multiplication are as usual but for which some very large number is defined to be not feasible. Parikh shows that sufficiently short proofs in this theory can only prove true statements of arithmetic. We pursue these topics in light of logical flow graphs of proofs (Buss, 1991) and show that Parikh’s lower bound for concrete consistency reflects the presence of cycles in the logical graphs of short proofs of feasibility of large numbers. We discuss two concrete constructions which show the bound to be optimal and bring out the dynamical aspect of formal proofs. For this paper the concept of feasible numbers has two roles, as an idea with its own life and as a vehicle for exploring general principles on the dynamics and geometry of proofs. Cycles can be seen as a measure of how complicated a proof can be. We prove that short proofs must have cycles. 1.
Reasoning about knowledge in linear logic: modalities and complexity
 Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science
, 2004
"... In a recent paper, JeanYves Girard commented that ”it has been a long time since philosophy has stopped intereacting with logic”[17]. Actually, it has not ..."
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In a recent paper, JeanYves Girard commented that ”it has been a long time since philosophy has stopped intereacting with logic”[17]. Actually, it has not
Turning Cycles into Spirals
, 1999
"... Introduction The structure of LK proofs presents intriguing combinatorial aspects which turn out to be very difficult to study [6,8]. It is wellknown that as soon as one wants to intervene over the structure of a proof to simplify it, the complexity of the proof might increase enormously [16,12,14 ..."
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Cited by 6 (3 self)
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Introduction The structure of LK proofs presents intriguing combinatorial aspects which turn out to be very difficult to study [6,8]. It is wellknown that as soon as one wants to intervene over the structure of a proof to simplify it, the complexity of the proof might increase enormously [16,12,14]. There is a link between the presence of cut formulas with nested quantifiers and the nonelementary expansion needed to prove a theorem without the help of such formulas. If one considers the graph defined by tracing the flow of occurrences of formulas (in the sense of [2]) for proofs allowing a nonelementary compression, one Preprint submitted to Elsevier Preprint 7 November 1997 finds that such graphs contain cycles [5] or almost cyclic structures[6]. These cycles codify in a small space (i.e. a proof with a small number of lines) all the information which is present in the proof once cuts on formulas wit
Asymptotic cyclic expansion and bridge groups of formal proofs
 JOURNAL OF ALGEBRA
, 2001
"... Formal proofs, even simple ones, may hide an unexpected intricate combinatorics. We define a new combinatorial invariant, the bridge group of a proof, which encodes the cyclic structure of proofs in the sequent calculus. We compute the bridge groups of two infinite families of proofs and identify th ..."
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Cited by 5 (1 self)
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Formal proofs, even simple ones, may hide an unexpected intricate combinatorics. We define a new combinatorial invariant, the bridge group of a proof, which encodes the cyclic structure of proofs in the sequent calculus. We compute the bridge groups of two infinite families of proofs and identify them with the Baumslag–Solitar and Gersten groups. We observe that the distortion of cyclic subgroups in these groups equals the asymptotic growth of the procedure of elimination of lemmas from the proofs.
The Cost of a Cycle is a Square
, 1999
"... The logical flow graphs of sequent calculus proofs might contain oriented cycles. For the predicate calculus the elimination of cycles might be nonelementary and this was shown in [Car96]. For the propositional calculus, we prove that if a proof of k lines contains n cycles then there exists an ..."
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Cited by 3 (2 self)
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The logical flow graphs of sequent calculus proofs might contain oriented cycles. For the predicate calculus the elimination of cycles might be nonelementary and this was shown in [Car96]. For the propositional calculus, we prove that if a proof of k lines contains n cycles then there exists an acyclic proof with O(k n+1 ) lines. In particular, there is a quadratic time algorithm which eliminates a single cycle from a proof. These results are motivated by the search for general methods on proving lower bounds on proof size and by the design of more efficient heuristic algorithms for proof search.
Looking From the Inside and From the Outside
, 1998
"... Many times in mathematics there is a natural dichotomy between describing some object from the inside and from the outside. Imagine algebraic varieties for instance; they can be described from the outside as solution sets of polynomial equations, but one can also try to understand how it is for ..."
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Many times in mathematics there is a natural dichotomy between describing some object from the inside and from the outside. Imagine algebraic varieties for instance; they can be described from the outside as solution sets of polynomial equations, but one can also try to understand how it is for actual points to move around inside them, perhaps to parameterize them in some way. The concept of formal proofs has the interesting feature that it provides opportunities for both perspectives. The inner perspective has been largely overlooked, but in fact lengths of proofs lead to new ways to measure the information content of mathematical objects. The disparity between minimal lengths of proofs with and without "lemmas" provides an indication of internal symmetry of mathematical objects and their descriptions.
Streams and Strings in Formal Proofs
"... Streams are acyclic directed subgraphs of the logical flow graph of a proof and represent bundles of paths with the same origin and the same end. Streams can be described with a natural algebraic formalism which allows to explain in algebraic terms the evolution of proofs during cutelimination. ..."
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Streams are acyclic directed subgraphs of the logical flow graph of a proof and represent bundles of paths with the same origin and the same end. Streams can be described with a natural algebraic formalism which allows to explain in algebraic terms the evolution of proofs during cutelimination. In our approach, "logic" is often forgotten and combinatorial properties of graphs are taken into account to explain logical phenomena.
Propositional Proofs via Combinatorial Geometry and the Search for Symmetry
 IN ANNALS OF THE KURT GODEL SOCIETY, INSTITUTE OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AS CR
, 1999
"... This paper is motivated by questions of complexity and combinatorics of proofs in the sequent calculus. We shall pay particular attention to the role that symmetry plays in these questions.. We want to ..."
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This paper is motivated by questions of complexity and combinatorics of proofs in the sequent calculus. We shall pay particular attention to the role that symmetry plays in these questions.. We want to
Pathways of deduction A. Carbone
"... Cyclic structures underlie formal mathematical reasoning, and replication and folding play a crucial role in the complexity of proofs. These two aspects of the geometry of proofs are discussed. 1 Deductions, foldings and the brain Different models of various regions of the brain have been proposed a ..."
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Cyclic structures underlie formal mathematical reasoning, and replication and folding play a crucial role in the complexity of proofs. These two aspects of the geometry of proofs are discussed. 1 Deductions, foldings and the brain Different models of various regions of the brain have been proposed and they stimulated the discussion on the way our mind works. The essential feature of most of these models is the hierarchical structure which is underlying the organization. What we “see ” is nevertheless not necessarily the basic mechanism. Recent studies in computational complexity and proof theory reveal that hierarchical organizations, even though structurally appealing, are computationally inefficient. In fact, our brain seems to be “fast ” in performing certain tasks (such as perceiving the presence of an animal in the landscape, or intuitively grasping a complicated mathematical idea) and extremely “slow ” in performing others (as the construction of a mathematical