Panagiotis (Pete) Manolios
College of Computer and Information Science
Northeastern University

Ordinal Arithmetic: Algorithms and Mechanization

Panagiotis Manolios and Daron Vroon.
Journal of Automated Reasoning, to appear. © Springer-Verlag.


Termination proofs are of critical importance for establishing the correct behavior of both transformational and reactive computing systems. A general setting for establishing termination proofs involves the use of the ordinal numbers, an extension of the natural numbers into the transfinite which were introduced by Cantor in the nineteenth century and are at the core of modern set theory. We present the first comprehensive treatment of ordinal arithmetic on compact ordinal notations and give efficient algorithms for various operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and exponentiation.

Using the ACL2 theorem proving system, we implemented our ordinal arithmetic algorithms, mechanically verified their correctness, and developed a library of theorems that can be used to significantly automate reasoning involving the ordinals. To enable users of the ACL2 system to fully utilize our work required that we modify ACL2, e.g., we replaced the underlying representation of the ordinals and added a large library of definitions and theorems. Our modifications are available starting with ACL2 version 2.8.

PDF (319K) © Springer-Verlag.
Gzipped Postscript (177K) © Springer-Verlag.
Postscript (1012K) © Springer-Verlag.