Acl2 Version 1.3 Notes
Major Section:  RELEASE-NOTES

Programming mode has been eliminated. Instead, all functions have a ``color'' which indicates what can be done with the function. For example, :red functions can be executed but have no axioms describing them. Thus, :red functions can be introduced after passing a simple syntactic check and they can be redefined without undoing. But nothing of consequence can be proved about them. At the other extreme are :gold functions which can be executed and which also have passed both the termination and the guard verification proofs. The color of a function can be specified with the new xargs keyword, :color, which, if omitted defaults to the global setting of ld-color. Ld-color replaces load-mode. Setting ld-color to :red causes behavior similar to the old :g-mode. Setting ld-color to :gold causes behavior similar to the old :v-mode. It is possible to prototype your system in :red and then convert :red functions to :blue individually by calling verify-termination on them. They can then be converted to :gold with verify-guards. This allows us to undertake to verify the termination and guards of system functions. See :doc color for an introduction to the use of colors.

Type prescription rules have been added. Recall that in Nqthm, some rewrite rules were actually stored as ``type-prescriptions.'' Such rules allow the user to inform Nqthm's primitive type mechanism as to the kinds of shells returned by a function. Earlier versions of Acl2 did not have an analogous kind of rule because Acl2's type mechanism is complicated by guards. Version 1.3 supports type-prescription rules. See type-prescription.

Three more new rule-classes implement congruence-based rewriting. It is possible to identify a binary relation as an equivalence relation (see equivalence), to show that one equivalence relation refines another (see refinement) and to show that a given equivalence relation is maintained when rewriting a given function call, e.g., (fn ...xk...), by maintaining another equivalence relation while rewriting the kth argument (see congruence). If r has been shown to be an equivalence relation and then (implies hyps (r (foo x) (bar x))) is proved as a :rewrite rule, then instances of (foo x) will be replaced by corresponding instances of (bar x) provided the instance occurs in a slot where the maintainence of r-equivalence is known to be sufficient and hyps can be established as usual.

In Version 1.2, rule-classes were simple keywords, e.g., :rewrite or :elim. In Version 1.3, rule-classes have been elaborated to allow you to specify how the theorem ought to be used as a rule. That is, the new rule-classes allows you to separate the mathematical statement of the formula from its interpretation as a rule. See rule-classes.

Rules used to be named by symbols, e.g., car and car-cons were the names of rules. Unfortunately, this was ambiguous because there are three rules associated with function symbols: the symbolic definition, the executable counterpart, and the type-prescription; many different rules might be associated with theorems, depending on the rule classes. In Version 1.3 rules are named by ``runes'' (which is just short hand for ``rule names''). Example runes are (:definition car), (:executable-counterpart car), and (:type-prescription car . 1). Every rule added by an event has a different name and you can enable and disable them independently. See rune and see theories.

The identity function force, of one argument, has been added and given a special interpretation by the functions responsible for establishing hypotheses in backchaining: When the system fails to establish some hypothesis of the form (force term), it simply assumes it is true and goes on, delaying until later the establishment of term. In particular, pushes a new subgoal to prove term in the current context. When that subgoal is attacked, all of the resources of the theorem prover, not just rewriting, are brought to bear. Thus, for example, if you wish to prove the rule (implies (good-statep s) (equal (exec s n) s')) and it is your expectation that every time exec appears its first argument is a good-statep then you might write the rule as (implies (force (good-statep s)) (equal (exec s n) s')). This rule is essentially an unconditional rewrite of (exec s n) to s' that spawns the new goal (good-statep s). See force. Because you can now specify independently how a theorem is used as a rule, you need not write the force in the actual theorem proved. See rule-classes.

Version 1.3 supports a facility similar to Nqthm's break-lemma. See break-rewrite. You can install ``monitors'' on runes that will cause interactive breaks under certain conditions.

Acl2 also provides ``wormholes'' which allow you to write functions that cause interaction with the user but which do not require that you have access to state. See wormhole.

The rewriter now automatically backchains to stronger recognizers. There is no user hook to this feature but it may simplify some proofs with which older versions of Acl2 had trouble. For example, if the rewriter is trying to prove (rationalp (foo a b c)) it is now smart enough to try lemmas that match with (integerp (foo a b c)).