# Inference Rules and Proof Methods

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1 Inference Rules and Proof Methods Winter 2010

2 Introduction Rules of Inference and Formal Proofs Proofs in mathematics are valid arguments that establish the truth of mathematical statements. An argument is a sequence of statements that end with a conclusion. The argument is valid if the conclusion (final statement) follows from the truth of the preceding statements (premises). Rules of inference are templates for building valid arguments. We will study rules of inferences for compound propositions, for quantified statements, and then see how to combine them. These will be the main ingredients needed in formal proofs.

3 Introduction Proof methods and Informal Proofs After studying how to write formal proofs using rules of inference for predicate logic and quantified statements, we will move to informal proofs. Proving useful theorems using formal proofs would result in long and tedious proofs, where every single logical step must be provided. Proofs used for human consumption (rather than for automated derivations by the computer) are usually informal proofs, where steps are combined or skipped, axioms or rules of inference are not explicitly provided. The second part of these slides will cover methods for writing informal proofs.

4 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Valid Arguments using Propositional Logic Consider the following argument (sequence of propositions): If the prof offers chocolate for an answer, you answer the prof s question. The prof offers chocolate for an answer. Therefore, you answer the prof s question. Let p be the prof offers chocolate for an answer and q be you answer the prof s question. p q The form of the above argument is: p q The argument is valid since ((p q) p) q is a tautology.

5 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Arguments, argument forms and their validity Definition An argument in propositional logic is sequence of propositions. All but the final proposition are called premises and the final proposition is called the conclusion. An argument is valid if the truth of all its premises implies that the conclusion is true. An argument form in propositional logic is a sequence of compound propositions involving propositional variables. An argument form is valid if no matter which propositions are substituted for the propositional variables in its premises, if the premises are all true, then the conclusion is true. In other words, an argument form with premises p 1, p 2,..., p n and conclusion q is valid if and only if (p 1 p 2 p n ) q is a tautology.

6 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic I inference rule tautology name p Modus ponens p q (p (p q)) q (mode that affirms) q q Modus tollens p q ( q (p q)) p (mode that denies) p p q q r ((p q) (q r)) (p r) hypothetical syllogism p r p q p ((p q) ( p)) q disjunctive syllogism q

7 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic II p p q p q p p q p q p q p r q r p (p q) addition (p q) p simplification ((p) (q)) (p q) conjunction ((p q) ( p r)) (q r) resolution

8 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Which rule of inference is used in each argument below? Alice is a Math major. Therefore, Alice is either a Math major or a CSI major. Jerry is a Math major and a CSI major. Therefore, Jerry is a Math major. If it is rainy, then the pool will be closed. It is rainy. Therefore, the pool is closed. If it snows today, the university will close. The university is not closed today. Therefore, it did not snow today. If I go swimming, then I will stay in the sun too long. If I stay in the sun too long, then I will sunburn. Therefore, if I go swimming, then I will sunburn. l go swimming or eat an ice cream. I did not go swimming. Therefore, I eat an ice cream.

9 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4.

10 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4. Is the argument valid?

11 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4. Is the argument valid? Does the conclusion must be true?

12 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4. Is the argument valid? Does the conclusion must be true? What is wrong?

13 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4. Is the argument valid? Does the conclusion must be true? What is wrong? The argument is valid: modus ponens inference rule.

14 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4. Is the argument valid? Does the conclusion must be true? What is wrong? The argument is valid: modus ponens inference rule. We cannot conclude that the conclusion is true, since one of its premises, 2 > 3 2, is false.

15 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Determine whether the argument is valid and whether the conclusion must be true If 2 > 3 2 then ( 2) 2 > ( 3 2 )2. We know that 2 > 3 2. Therefore, ( 2) 2 = 2 > ( 3 2 )2 = 9 4. Is the argument valid? Does the conclusion must be true? What is wrong? The argument is valid: modus ponens inference rule. We cannot conclude that the conclusion is true, since one of its premises, 2 > 3 2, is false. Indeed, in this case the conclusion is false, since = 2.25.

16 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Formal Proofs: using rules of inference to build arguments Definition A formal proof of a conclusion q given hypotheses p 1, p 2,..., p n is a sequence of steps, each of which applies some inference rule to hypotheses or previously proven statements (antecedents) to yield a new true statement (the consequent). A formal proof demonstrates that if the premises are true, then the conclusion is true. Note that the word formal here is not a synomym of rigorous. A formal proof is based simply on symbol manipulation (no need of thinking, just apply rules). A formal proof is rigorous but so can be a proof that does not rely on symbols!

17 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Formal proof example Show that the hypotheses: It is not sunny this afternoon and it is colder than yesterday. We will go swimming only if it is sunny. If we do not go swimming, then we will take a canoe trip. If we take a canoe trip, then we will be home by sunset. lead to the conclusion: We will be home by the sunset. Main steps: 1 Translate the statements into proposional logic. 2 Write a formal proof, a sequence of steps that state hypotheses or apply inference rules to previous steps.

18 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Show that the hypotheses: It is not sunny this afternoon and it is colder than yesterday. s c We will go swimming only if it is sunny. w s If we do not go swimming, then we will take a canoe trip. w t If we take a canoe trip, then we will be home by sunset. t h lead to the conclusion: We will be home by the sunset. h Step Reason 1. s c hypothesis 2. s simplification 3. w s hypothesis 4. w modus tollens of 2 and 3 5. w t hypothesis 6. t modus ponens of 4 and 5 7. t h hypothesis 8. h modus ponens of 6 and 7 Where: s: it is sunny this afternoon c: it is colder than yesterday w: we will go swimming t: we will take a canoe trip. h: we will be home by the sunset.

19 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Resolution and Automated Theorem Proving We can build programs that automate the task of reasoning and proving theorems. Recall that the rule of inference called resolution is based on the tautology: ((p q) ( p r)) (q r) If we express the hypotheses and the conclusion as clauses (possible by CNF, a conjunction of clauses), we can use resolution as the only inference rule to build proofs! This is used in programming languages like Prolog. It can be used in automated theorem proving systems.

20 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Proofs that use exclusively resolution as inference rule Step 1: Convert hypotheses and conclusion into clauses: Original hypothesis equivalent CNF Hypothesis as list of clauses (p q) r (p r) (q r) (p r), (q r) r s ( r s) ( r s) Conclusion equivalent CNF Conclusion as list of clauses p s (p s) (p s) Step 2: Write a proof based on resolution: Step Reason 1. p r hypothesis 2. r s hypothesis 3. p s resolution of 1 and 2

21 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Show that the hypotheses: s c translates to clauses: s, c w s translates to clause: ( w s) w t translates to clause: (w t) t h translates to clause: ( t h) lead to the conclusion: h (it is already a trivial clause) Note that the fact that p and p q implies q (called disjunctive syllogism) is a special case of resolution, since p F and p q give us F q which is equivalent to q. Step Reason 1. s hypothesis 2. w s hypothesis 3. w resolution of 1 and 2 Resolution-based proof: 4. w t hypothesis 5. t resolution of 3 and 4 6. t h hypothesis 7. h resolution of 5 and 6

22 Rules of Inference for Propositional Logic Fallacies Fallacy = misconception resulting from incorrect argument. Fallacy of affirming the conclusion Based on ((p q) q) p which is NOT A TAUTOLOGY. Ex.: If prof gives chocolate, then you answer the question. You answer the question. We conclude the prof gave chocolate. Fallacy of denying the hypothesis Based on ((p q) p) q which is NOT A TAUTOLOGY. Ex.: If prof gives chocolate, then you answer the question. Prof doesn t give chocolate. Therefore, you don t answer the question.

23 Rules of Inference for Quantified Statements Rules of Inference for Quantified Statements Rule of Inference xp (x) P (c) P (c) for an arbitrary c xp (x) xp (x) P (c) for some element c P (c) for some element c xp (x) Name Universal instantiation Universal generalization Existential instantiation Existencial generalization

24 Rules of Inference for Quantified Statements Show that the premises: A student in Section A of the course has not read the book. Everyone in Section A of the course passed the first exam. imply the conclusion Someone who passed the first exam has not read the book. A(x): x is in Section A of the course B(x): x read the book P (x): x passed the first exam. Hypotheses: x(a(x) B(x)) and x(a(x) P (x)). Conclusion: x(p (x) B(x)).

25 Rules of Inference for Quantified Statements Hypotheses: x(a(x) B(x)) and x(a(x) P (x)). Conclusion: x(p (x) B(x)). Step Reason 1. x(a(x) B(x)) Hypothesis 2. A(a) B(a) Existencial instantiation from (1) 3. A(a) Simplification from (2) 4. x(a(x) P (x)) Hypothesis 5. A(a) P (a) Universal instantiation from (4) 6. P (a) Modus ponens from (3) and (5) 7. B(a) Simplification from (2) 8. P (a) B(a) Conjunction from (6) and (7) 9. x(p (x) B(x)) Existential generalization from (8)

26 Rules of Inference for Quantified Statements Combining Rules of Inference for Propositions and Quantified Statements These inference rules are frequently used and combine propositions and quantified statements: Universal Modus Ponens x(p (x) Q(x)) P (a), where a is a particular element in the domain Q(a) Universal Modus Tollens x(p (x) Q(x)) Q(a), where a is a particular element in the domain P (a)

27 Proof Methods Proof Methods A proof is a valid argument that establishes the truth of a mathematical statement, using the hypotheses of the theorem, if any, axioms assumed to be true, and previously proven theorems. Using these ingredients and rules of inference, the proof establishes the truth of the statement being proved. We move from formal proofs, as seen in the previous section, to informal proofs, where more than one inference rule may be used at each step, where steps may be skipped, and where axioms and rules of inference used are not explicitly stated.

28 Proof Methods Some terminology Theorem: a statement that can be shown to be true (sometimes referred to as facts or results). Less important theorems are often called propositions. A lemma is a less important theorem, used as an auxiliary result to prove a more important theorem. A corollary is a theorem proven as an easy consequence of a theorem. A conjecture is a statement that is being proposed as a true statement. If later proven, it becomes a theorem, but it may be false. Axiom (or postulates) are statements that we assume to be true (algebraic axioms specify rules for arithmetic like commutative laws). A proof is a valid argument that establishes the truth of a theorem. The statements used in a proof include axioms, hypotheses (or premises), and previously proven theorems. Rules of inference, together with definition of terms, are used to draw conclusions from other assertions, tying together the steps of a proof.

29 Proof Methods Understanding how theorems are stated Many theorems assert that a property holds for all elements in a domain. However, the universal quantifier is often not explicitly stated. The statement: If x > y, where x and y are positive real numbers, then x 2 > y 2. really means For all positive real numbers x and y, if x > y then x 2 > y 2. That is, in formal logic under the domain of positive real numbers this is the same as x y((x > y) (x 2 > y 2 )).

30 Proof Methods Methods of proving theorems To prove a theorem of the form x(p (x) Q(x)), we use the steps: Take an arbitrary element c of the domain and show that (P (c) Q(c)) is true. Apply universal generalization to conclude x(p (x) Q(x)). (Normally we not even bother with this final step.) 3 methods of showing statements of the type p q are true: 1 Direct proofs: Assume p is true; the last step establishes q is true. 2 Proof by Contraposition: Uses a direct proof of the contrapositive of p q, which is q p. That is, assume q is true; the last step established p is true. 3 Proof by Contradiction: To prove that P is true, we assume P is true and reach a contradiction, that is that (r r) is true for some proposition r. In particular, to prove (p q), we assume (p q) is false, and get as a consequence a contradiction. Assuming that (p q) is false = ( p q) is false = (p q) is true.

31 Proof Methods Direct Proofs A formal direct proof of a conditional statement p q works as follows: assume p is true, build steps using inference rules, with the final step showing that q is true. In a (informal) direct proof, we assume that p is true, and use axioms, definitions and previous theorems, together with rules of inference to show that q must be true. Definition The integer n is even if there exists an integer k such that n = 2k, and n is odd if there exists an integer k such that n = 2k + 1. Give a direct proof of the following theorem. Theorem If n is an odd integer, then n 2 is odd.

32 Proof Methods Theorem If n is an odd integer, then n 2 is odd. Observations: We want to show that n(p (n) Q(n)), where P (n) is n is an odd integer and Q(n) is n 2 is odd. We show this by proving that for an arbitrary n, P (n) implies Q(n), without invoking the universal generalization. Proof: Let n be an odd integer. By definition of odd, we know that there exists an integer k such that n = 2k + 1. Squaring both sides of the equation, we get n 2 = (2k + 1) 2 = 4k 2 + 4k + 1 = 2(2k 2 + 2k) + 1. Since n 2 = 2k + 1, where k = 2k 2 + 2k, by the definition of odd we conclude n 2 is odd.

33 Proof Methods Definition An integer a is a perfect square if there is an integer b such that a = b 2. Exercise: Prove the following theorem using a direct proof. Theorem If m and n are both perfect squares, then mn is also a perfect square.

34 Proof Methods Proof by Contraposition This method of proof makes use of the equivalence (p q) ( q p). In a proof by contraposition that p q, we assume q is true, and using axioms, definitions and previously proven theorems, together with inference rules, we show that p must be true. (It is a direct proof of the contrapositive statement!) Theorem If n is an integer and 3n + 2 is odd, then n is odd. Proof: We prove the statement by contraposition. Assume n is even (assuming q). Then, by definition, n = 2k for some integer k. Thus, 3n + 2 = 3(2k) + 2 = 6k + 2 = 2(3k + 1). So, we have that 3n + 2 = 2k where k = 3k + 1, which means 3n + 2 is an even number. This is the negation of the hypothesis of the theorem ( p), which concludes our proof by contraposition.

35 Proof Methods Exercises: proof by contraposition Prove that if n = ab, where a and b are positive integers, then a n or b n. Show that the proposition P (0) is true where the domain consists of the integer numbers and P (n) is If n 1 then n 2 > n. Note: vacuous proof: when p is false p q is true, regardless of the value of q.

36 Proof Methods When to use each type of proof? Usually try a direct proof. If it doesn t work, try a proof by contraposition. Definition A real number r is rational if there exists integers p and q with q 0 such that r = p/q. A real number that is not rational is called irrational Prove that the sum of two rational numbers is rational. (For all r, s R, if r and s are rational numbers, then r + s is rational.) Let r and s be rational numbers. Then, there exist integers p, q, t, u with q 0 and u 0 such that r = p/q and s = t/u. So, r + s = p q + t u pu + qt =. qu Since q 0 and u 0, we have qu 0. Therefore, we expressed r + s as the ratio of two integers pu + qt and qu, where qu 0. This means that r + s is rational. (The direct proof succeeded!)

37 Proof Methods Prove that for any integer number n, if n 2 is odd, then n is odd. Trying a direct proof... Let n be an integer number. Assume that n 2 is odd. We get next that there exists an integer k such that n 2 = 2k + 1. Solving for n produces the equation n = ± 2k + 1, which is not very useful to show that n is odd. Try a prove by contraposition... Let n be an integer number. Assume n is not odd. This means that n is even, and so there exists an integer k such that n = 2k. Thus, n 2 = (2k) 2 = 4k 2 = 2(2k 2 ). So, taking k = 2k 2, we see that n 2 = 2k and so n 2 is even. This concludes our proof by contraposition.

38 Proof Methods Proof by Contradiction In a proof by contradiction, we prove that a proposition p is true, by showing that there exists a contradiction q such that p q. We can prove that p is true by showing for instance that p (r r), for some proposition r. Prove that 2 is irrational. A direct proof is difficult, as it means to show that there exists no two integer a and b with b 0 such that 2 = a/b. Nonexistence proofs are usually hard. Let s try a proof by contradiction...

39 Proof Methods Theorem 2 is irrational. Proof: We prove by means of contradiction. Assume 2 is a rational number. So, there exists a and b integers with b 0 with 2 = a /b. We select such integers a and b with the additional property that a and b have no common factors, i.e. the fraction a/b is in lowest terms (this is always possible to obtain, for we can keep dividing by common factors). So, 2 = a/b so 2 = a 2 /b 2. This implies 2b 2 = a 2 (1). By the definition of even, we know that a 2 is even. Next we use a theorem that states that if a 2 is even then a is even (prove it as an exercise). Now, since a is even, we know that there exists c such that a = 2c. Substituting in the formula (1) above, we get that 2b 2 = (2c) 2 = 4c 2. Dividing both sides by 2 we get b 2 = 2c 2. By the definition of even, we see that b is even. Therefore, we got that a is even and b is even, and so 2 is a common factor of a and b. But we also had that a and b had no common factors. We just reached a contradiction!

40 Proof Methods Other types of proof statements Proof of equivalences: To prove a statement p q, we show that both p q and q p are true. Example: Prove that if n is a positive integer, then n is odd if and only if n 2 is odd. Showing that a statement of the form xp (x) is false: In this case, we need to find a counterexample. Example: Show that the statement Every positive integer is the sum of the squares of two integers. is false. We argue that 3 is a counterexample. The only perfect squares smaller than 3 are 0 and 1, and clearly, 3 cannot be written as a sum of two terms each being 0 or 1.

41 Proof Methods Mistakes in Proofs What is the problem with he following proof that 1 = 2? Use the following steps, where a and b are two equal positive integers. 1. a = b Given 2. a 2 = ab Multiply both sides of (1) by a. 3. a 2 b 2 = ab b 2 Substract b 2 from both sides of (2) 4. (a b)(a + b) = b(a b) Factoring both sides of (3) 5. a + b = b Divide both sides of (4) by a b 6. 2b = b Replace a by b in (5), since a = b 7. 2 = 1 Divide both sides of 6. by b. Therefore 2 = 1.

42 Proof Strategies Proof by Cases Sometimes it is difficult to use a single argument that holds for all cases. Proof by cases uses the following equivalence: [(p 1 p 2 p n ) q] [(p 1 q) (p 2 q) (p n q)] Example: Prove that if n is integer then n 2 n. We split the proof into three cases. Case (i) n = 0. In this case, n 2 = 0 2 = 0 = n. Case (ii) n 1 In this case, when we multiply both sides of n 1 by n we obtain n n n 1. This implies n 2 n. Case (iii) n 1 In this case, n 1, but n 2 0. Therefore, n n, and so n 2 n.

43 Proof Strategies Exhaustive proof This is a special form of a proof by cases, when there is a finite and small number of examples for which we need to prove a fact. Prove that (n + 1) 2 3 n if n is a positive integer with n 2. We use a proof by exhaustion, by examining the cases n = 1, 2. For n = 1, (n + 1) 2 = 2 2 = 4 3 = 3 n. For n = 2, (n + 1) 2 = 3 2 = = 3 n.

44 Proof Strategies Existence Proofs Existence proofs prove statements of the form xp (x). Constructive existence proof: find a such that P (a) is true. Example: Show that there is a positive integer that can be written as a sum of cubes of positive integers in two different ways. Proof: 1729 = and 1729 =

45 Proof Strategies Existence Proofs Existence proofs prove statements of the form xp (x). Constructive existence proof: find a such that P (a) is true. Example: Show that there is a positive integer that can be written as a sum of cubes of positive integers in two different ways. Proof: 1729 = and 1729 = Nonconstructive existence proof: show that xp (x) without explicitly giving a for which P (a) is true. Example: Show that there exist irrational numbers x and y such that x y is rational. From a previous theorem we know that 2 is irrational. Consider the number 2 2. There are two possible cases:

46 Proof Strategies Existence Proofs Existence proofs prove statements of the form xp (x). Constructive existence proof: find a such that P (a) is true. Example: Show that there is a positive integer that can be written as a sum of cubes of positive integers in two different ways. Proof: 1729 = and 1729 = Nonconstructive existence proof: show that xp (x) without explicitly giving a for which P (a) is true. Example: Show that there exist irrational numbers x and y such that x y is rational. From a previous theorem we know that 2 is irrational. Consider the number 2. 2 There are two possible cases: 2 2 is rational: In this case, take x = 2 and y = 2.

47 Proof Strategies Existence Proofs Existence proofs prove statements of the form xp (x). Constructive existence proof: find a such that P (a) is true. Example: Show that there is a positive integer that can be written as a sum of cubes of positive integers in two different ways. Proof: 1729 = and 1729 = Nonconstructive existence proof: show that xp (x) without explicitly giving a for which P (a) is true. Example: Show that there exist irrational numbers x and y such that x y is rational. From a previous theorem we know that 2 is irrational. Consider the number 2. 2 There are two possible cases: 2 2 is rational: In this case, take x = 2 and y = is irrational: In this case, take x = 2 and y = 2. Then x y = ( 2 2) 2 = ( 2) 2 = 2.

48 Proof Strategies The art of finding a proof method that works for a theorem We need practice in order to recognize which type of proof to apply to a particular theorem/fact that we need to prove. In the next topic number theory, several theorems will be proven using different proof methods and strategies.

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