Some ideas on cut-elimination for cyclic arithmetic proofs

Author: Anupam Das

Paper Information

Title:Some ideas on cut-elimination for cyclic arithmetic proofs
Authors:Anupam Das
Proceedings:CL&C Full papers and abstracts
Editor: Stefano Berardi
Keywords:Proof theory, Peano arithmetic, Cyclic proofs, Non-wellfounded proofs, Cut-elimination, Classical logic, Consistency proofs, Continuous computation, Infinite computation

ABSTRACT. Cyclic arithmetic, proposed by Simpson '17, is a deduction system based in the language of arithmetic where proofs may be non-wellfounded, as opposed to usual approaches to infinitary proof theory via an omega-rule. Naturally, some form of correctness condition must be imposed to ensure sound reasoning, and this is implemented by a 'trace' condition at the level of the 'flow graph' of the proof (cf. Buss '91). 'Cyclic arithmetic' (CA) itself consists of such proofs that are regular, i.e. that have only finitely many distinct subtrees, and so may be expressed as a finite directed graph (with cycles). It was independently shown by Simpson '17 and Berardi & Tatsuta '17 that CA and PA are equivalent, and recently that logical complexity in the two theories is similar (Das '18).

We consider the issue of cut-elimination for CA. Such a procedure cannot preserve regularity of proofs, so the issue is to show that cut-elimination is 'productive'. To this end, 'continuous' cut-elimination procedures have long been studied in the proof theory of arithmetic, originating from Mints '78. However the difficulties arising from the 'repetition' rule, ensuring continuity, and the need to preserve trace conditions seems to suggest that an alternative approach is pertinent.

In this work-in-progress, we show how cut-elimination can be similarly achieved by a certain reduction to finitary cut-elimination. We compute certain 'runs' through a non-wellfounded proof which must be finite thanks to the trace condition, and show that these are preserved in the image of cut-elimination. Productivity follows since cut-free runs must be non-empty, and validity follows by the finiteness of runs.

The computation of runs, naively, makes use of a semantic oracle, though we believe that this can be replaced by purely syntactic concepts via a 'geometry of interaction' approach to cut-elimination, cf. Girard '89. This would yield a novel proof of the consistency of PA indirectly via CA.


Berardi & Tatsuta '17. Equivalence of inductive definitions and cyclic proofs under arithmetic. Proceedings of LICS ’17.

Buss '91. The undecidability of k-provability. Annals of Pure and Applied Logic.

Das '18. On the logical complexity of cyclic arithmetic. Preprint.

Girard '89. Towards a geometry of interaction. Proceedings of Categories in Computer Science and Logic.

Mints '78. Finite investigations of transfinite derivations. Journal of Soviet Mathematics.

Simpson '17. Cyclic Arithmetic is Equivalent to Peano Arithmetic. Proceedings of FoSSaCS ’17.

Talk:Jul 07 17:30 (Session 31A)