Some small tools are provided with Logtk‘s source code. They can be found in src/tools/ and have various dependencies (parsers, meta-prover, etc.). Their source code can be helpful to see how some specific tools (meta-prover, type-checking, parsing) are used.

Let’s start with the basics: symbols, terms and types. We assume in the following that the basic library has been linked and Logtk has been opened, for instance in an ocamlfind-enabled toplevel with

#require "logtk";;  (* load module *)

open Logtk;;  (* brings the content of Logtk into the scope *)

Symbols, Terms and Types


Automated Theorem Proving belongs to symbolic reasoning. As the name hints, all we are going to do is manipulating symbols. For this Logtk provides a Symbol module. A symbol can be either a numeric constant, a connective or a [hashconsed] string:

let f = Symbol.of_string "f";;
let g = Symbol.of_string "g";;

(* machine integer *)
let twelve = Symbol.of_int 12;;

(* big integer, here built from string *)
let very_big_num = Symbol.mk_int (Z.of_string "99999999999999999999999");;

Some symbols are already defined because they are pervasive in logic. We call those connectives. They are defined in Symbol.Base. For instance:

(* logic equivalence *)
let equiv = Symbol.Base.equiv;;

(* logic "or" *)
let or_ = Symbol.Base.or_;;

Like many other modules, Symbol defines many operators such as equality, comparison, hashing and printing.

(* use a custom printer for symbols *)
#install_printer Symbol.fmt;;

let a = Symbol.of_string "a";;
let b = Symbol.of_string "b";;
(* printed as "a" and "b" respectively *)

Symbol.eq a a;;
(* true *)

let foo0 = Symbol.gensym ~prefix:"foo" ();;
(* a symbol named "foo_0" or something like this *)

let foo1 = Symbol.gensym ~prefix:"foo" ();;
(* another symbol named "foo_1" *)

Symbol.cmp foo0 foo1;;
(* total ordering on symbols:
   -1 because the first is smaller (has been created before) *)

(* a symbol named "$rat", representing the types of rationals in TPTP. *)


In Logtk, terms are always typed. Dealing with untyped logic only means dealing with terms that all have the same (unique) type. The type system is rank-1 polymorphism, à la ML (following the TFF1 draft).

The module Type represents such polymorphic types. We can build them, print them, etc. in pretty much the same way as symbols:

(* useful in the toplevel only, to print types nicely *)
#install_printer Type.fmt;;

let ty1 =
  let open Type in
  const a <== [const a; var 0];;

(* or, without the infix operator nor the .() syntax: *)
let ty1' = Type.arrow_list [Type.const a; Type.var 0] (Type.const a);;

Let us examine closer the structure of types. It is exposed in src/base/type.mli as:

type t = private ScopedTerm.t
(** Type is a subtype of the general structure ScopedTerm.t,
    with explicit conversion *)

type view = private
  | Var of int              (** Type variable *)
  | BVar of int             (** Bound variable (De Bruijn index) *)
  | App of symbol * t list  (** parametrized type *)
  | Fun of t * t            (** Function type (left to right) *)
  | Record of (string*t) list * t option  (** Record type *)
  | Forall of t             (** explicit quantification using De Bruijn index *)

val view : t -> view

So, Type.t is actually a private alias to the internal type ScopedTerm.t. This is explained in the page about the term hierarchy. Then, a private type Type.view is defined, and a function view allows to pattern-match on the root of any instance of Type.t. Types are built of variables, bound variables, symbol applications (including constants when the list of arguments is empty), function types, record types (a more advanced topic) and explicitely quantified types.

In practice we can use view this way:

let ty2 =
  let open Type in
  app f [const a; const b];;

let arity_of_ty2 =
  match Type.view ty2 with
  | Type.App (_, l) -> List.length l
  | _ -> 0;;
(* arity is 2, l is (locally) the list of arguments *)

Types can only be built using the constructors exposed in the module. Those are the functions whose return type is Type.t, including var, app, const and forall, but also infix synonyms. Some standard TPTP types are pre-defined in the Type.TPTP module.

(* polymorphic equality, returning a proposition. *)
let type_of_eq =
  let open Type in
  let x = var 0 in  (* type var *)
  forall [x] (TPTP.o <== [x; x]);;

let list_ x = app (Symbol.of_string "list") [x];;

(* the type of a polymorphic list constructor "cons": forall 'a. 'a * 'a list -> 'a list *)
let type_of_cons =
  let open Type in
  let x = var 0 in
  forall [x] (list_ x <== [x; list_ x]);;

(* the type of "nil", the empty list, parametrized by the type of the elements of the list *)
let type_of_nil =
  let x = Type.var 0 in
  Type.forall [x] (list_ x);;

(* type of "cons int", the constructor of list of integers *)
let int_list = Type.apply type_of_cons Type.TPTP.int ;;

Note that we build quantified polymorphic types using free variables, because the constructor forall takes care of the De Bruijn indices itself. x will not appear in the resulting type because it will be a bound variable. Conversely, Type.apply is used to apply a type to another one.

  • Type.apply (forall [x] T) a will be [T/x]a, a (partial) monomorphization of the left argument
  • Type.apply (a -> b) a will be b, the application of a function type to a matching argument.


We focus on first-order (polymorhphic) terms. Those are defined in the module FOTerm. The structure of the module is similar to Type; first, let’s see the definition of a term.

type t = private ScopedTerm.t

type view = private
  | Var of int              (** Term variable *)
  | BVar of int             (** Bound variable (De Bruijn index) *)
  | Const of Symbol.t       (** Typed constant *)
  | TyApp of t * Type.t     (** Application to type *)
  | App of t  * t list      (** Application to a list of terms (cannot be left-nested) *)

val view : t -> view

We can also examine and build them in a similar way:

#install_printer FOTerm.fmt;;

module T = FOTerm;;

(* the constructor of lists "cons", with its type. The ~ty is a named argument *)
let cons = T.const ~ty:type_of_cons (Symbol.of_string "cons");;

(* constructor of empty list *)
let nil = T.const ~ty:type_of_nil (Symbol.of_string "nil");;

(* build a numeric constant *)
let const_i i =
  T.const ~ty:Type.TPTP.int (Symbol.of_int i);;

(* the empty list of terms of the TPTP type $i *)
let l_empty = T.tyapp nil Type.TPTP.i;;

(* the integer list [1;2;3;4] as a term *)
let l =
   (fun i tl ->
     T.app_full cons [Type.TPTP.int] [const_i i; tl]
   ) [1;2;3;4] (T.tyapp nil Type.TPTP.int) ;;

(* the type of l is "list of integers" *)
Type.eq (T.ty l) int_list;;