IRST- Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica; 2; DISA, University of Trento, Via Imana 5
; 38050 Povo, Trento, Italy; Trento, Italy
In this paper we propose a metatheory, MT which represents the computation which implements its object theory, OT, and, in particular, the computation which implements deduction in OT. To emphasize this fact we say that MT is a metatheory of a mechanized object theory. MT has some "unusual" properties, e.g. it explicitly represents failure in the application of inference rules, and the fact that large amounts of the code implementing OT are partial, i.e. they work only for a limited class of inputs. These properties allow us to use MT to express and prove tactics, i.e. expressions which specify how to compose possibly failing applications of inference rules, to interpret them procedurally to assert theorems in OT, to compile them into the system implementation code, and, finally, to generate MT automatically from the system code. The definition of MT is part of a larger project which aims at the implementation of self-reflective systems, i.e. systems which are able to intros...