Automated Reasoning (2016-17): This course is undergoing a major update. Some of the topics described below will not be covered in 2016/17.

On this page:

Please register your feedback on this course at the Informatics Course Survey.


The lectures are given by:

Demonstrator times:

Class rep: Alex Wingard, email: s1575736 @

Help and Feedback

If you run into difficulties and are not making satisfactory progress then seek help. The earlier you ask for help the more likely it is that your problems can be solved without damaging your performance in the course. Do not be ashamed of asking for help. This is a challenging course, which introduces you to novel techniques and skills. You are expected to learn them during the course, not to come already equipped with them.

To seek help

Even if you are managing fine, please feel free to use the discussion forum to ask questions on course-related topics that go beyond the core material presented in the lectures and courseworks.

Various kinds of feedback are provided during the course.

Lecture Schedule

Lectures are held at 16.10-17.00 in Semester 2 on Tuesdays and Fridays in LG34 of Paterson's Land.

The first lecture is on Tuesday 12th January 2016.

Note that there are no lecture notes for the course. Instead, recommended reading is associated with each lecture. This reading is usually from:

There will be one lecture on each of the coursework assignments to provide some general information and background. Note: These lectures do not necessarily coincide with the hand-out dates for the assignment sheets. Students should start work on their courseworks as soon as they are handed out rather than wait for the lectures, if these come later on.

Please note: At any point of the course, the future schedule gives a strong indication of the topics to be covered. However, some details might change.

Week Date Title Recommended Reading
1 Tue 12th Jan 2016 1. Introduction Bundy, Ch. 1
[background] The Univalent Foundations presentation by Vladimir Voevodsky.
[background] Logicomix
Fri 15th Jan 2016 2. Propositional Logic and Natural Deduction
H&R Sec 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, start of 1.4
[background] Wadler's Propositions as Types
2 Tue 19th Jan 2016 3. Natural Deduction and Starting with Isabelle
H&R Sec 1.2, 1.4
Getting Started with Isabelle
Sec 5.1-5.7 of Tutorial on Isabelle/HOL
Prop.thy Isabelle theory file
Fri 22nd Jan 2016 4. Propositional Reasoning in Isabelle
Sec 5.1-5.7 of Tutorial on Isabelle/HOL
[background] Pollack's How to Believe a Machine-Checked Proof
[background] How do they verify a verifier of formalized proofs?
3 Tue 26th Jan 2016 5. First-order Logic
H&R Secs 2.1-2.4
FOL.thy Isabelle theory file
[background] Logitext - an interactive L-system FOL prover
Fri 29th Jan 2016 6. Representation & Introduction to HOL
Bundy Ch. 4
4 Tue 2nd Feb 2016 7. Coursework 1: Proving and Reasoning in Isabelle/HOL

Note: The coursework has been updated on 9 February!

Coursework description
Coursework theory file
Fri 5th Feb 2016 8. Unification
Bundy 17.1 - 17.4
[background] Unification theory -- a survey of the state of the art from 2001.
5 Tue 9th Feb 2016 9. Rewriting
Bundy Ch. 9
Fri 12th Feb 2016 10. Guest Lecture: Ewen Maclean - Creativity in Inductive Theorem Proving
Bundy Ch. 11
[background] Productive Use of Failure in Inductive Proof
  Tue 16th Feb 2016 Innovative Learning Week (no lecture)
Fri 19th Feb 2016 Innovative Learning Week (no lecture)
6 Tue 23rd Feb 2016 11. Formal Verification and Linear-time Temporal Logic H&R Sections 3.1, 3.2
Fri 26th Feb 2016 12. Linear Temporal Logic, continued
(same slide set as last lecture)
H&R Section 3.2
7 Tue 1st Mar 2016 13. The NuSMV model checker
H&R Section 3.3
NuSMV Start-up Guide
Fri 4th Mar 2016 14. Coursework 2
8 Tue 8th Mar 2016 15. Computation Tree Logic H&R Sections 3.4, 3.5
Fri 11th Mar 2016 16. LTL Model Checking Idea
H&R Sections 3.6.2 and 3.6.3
9 Tue 15th Mar 2016 17. CTL Model Checking H&R Sections 3.6.1, and 3.7
Fri 18th Mar 2016 18. Introduction to Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs) H&R Section 6.1
[background] An Introduction to Binary Decision Diagrams by Henrik Reif Andersen.
10 Tue 22nd Mar 2016 19. Operations on BDDs H&R Sections 6.2, 6.3
Fri 25th Mar 2016 20. Software model checking
Slides on CBMC
Slides on BLAST
11 Tue 29th Mar 2016 21. Exam Review Past papers:
Older (contain material not in the current course):
Fri 1st Apr 2016 22. No Lecture


There are two pieces of software that we will be using for this course.

Assessment and Coursework

There will be two items of assessed coursework for this course, both of which count for 20% of the overall mark (the other 60% is assessed by exam).

The dates for the coursework are as follows:

The first coursework overlaps with Innovative Learning Week, which accounts for the longer elapsed time between hand out and deadline.

Coursework 1

Hand out: 2nd February 2016. Deadline: 4pm, Friday 26th February 2016.

Note: Coursework 1 has been updated on 9 February!

Coursework 2

Coursework 2: Hand out 4th March 2016 (Week 7). Deadline: Friday 18th March 2016 at 4pm(Week 9)

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