Computing the Hints

So far we have used computed hints only to compute when a fixed set of keys and values are to be used as a hint. But computed hints can, of course, compute the set of keys and values. You might, for example, write a hint that recognizes when a clause ``ought'' to be provable by a :BDD hint and generate the appropriate hint. You might build in a set of useful lemmas and check to see if the clause is proveable :BY one of them. You can keep all function symbols disabled and use computed hints to compute which ones you want to :EXPAND. In general, you can write a theorem prover for use in your hints, provided you can get it do its job by directing our theorem prover.

Suppose for example we wish to find every occurrence of an instance of (SWAP x) and provide the corresponding instance of ALL-SWAPS-HAVE-THE-PROPERTY. Obviously, we must explore the clause looking for instances of (SWAP x) and build the appropriate instances of the lemma. We could do this in many different ways, but below we show a general purpose set of utilities for doing it. The functions are not defined in ACL2 but could be defined as shown.

Our plan is: (1) Find all instances of a given pattern (term) in a clause, obtaining a set of substitutions. (2) Build a set of :instance expressions for a given lemma name and set of substitutions. (3) Generate a :use hint for those instances when instances are found.

The pair of functions below find all instances of a given pattern term in either a term or a list of terms. The functions each return a list of substitutions, each substitution accounting for one of the matches of pat to a subterm. At this level in ACL2 substitutions are lists of pairs of the form (var . term). All terms mentioned here are presumed to be in translated form.

The functions take as their third argument a list of substitutions accumulated to date and add to it the substitutions produced by matching pat to the subterms of the term. We intend this accumulator to be nil initially. If the returned value is nil, then no instances of pat occurred.

(defun find-all-instances (pat term alists)
 (declare (xargs :mode :program))
  (instancep alist)
  (one-way-unify pat term)
  (let ((alists (if instancep (add-to-set-equal alist alists) alists)))
     ((variablep term) alists)
     ((fquotep term) alists)
     ((flambdap (ffn-symb term))
      (find-all-instances pat
                          (lambda-body (ffn-symb term))
                          (find-all-instances-list pat (fargs term) alists)))
     (t (find-all-instances-list pat (fargs term) alists))))))

(defun find-all-instances-list (pat list-of-terms alists) (declare (xargs :mode :program)) (cond ((null list-of-terms) alists) (t (find-all-instances pat (car list-of-terms) (find-all-instances-list pat (cdr list-of-terms) alists))))))

We now turn our attention to converting a list of substitutions into a list of lemma instances, each of the form

(:INSTANCE name (var1 term1) ... (vark termk))
as written in :use hints. In the code shown above, substitutions are lists of pairs of the form (var . term), but in lemma instances we must write ``doublets.'' So here we show how to convert from one to the other:
(defun pairs-to-doublets (alist)
  (declare (xargs :mode :program))
  (cond ((null alist) nil)
        (t (cons (list (caar alist) (cdar alist))
                 (pairs-to-doublets (cdr alist))))))

Now we can make a list of lemma instances:

(defun make-lemma-instances (name alists)
  (declare (xargs :mode :program))
   ((null alists) nil)
   (t (cons (list* :instance name (pairs-to-doublets (car alists)))
            (make-lemma-instances name (cdr alists))))))

Finally, we can package it all together into a hint function. The function takes a pattern, pat, which must be a translated term, the name of a lemma, name, and a clause. If some instances of pat occur in clause, then the corresponding instances of name are :USEd in the computed hint. Otherwise, the hint does not apply.

(defun add-corresponding-instances (pat name clause)
  (declare (xargs :mode :program))
  (let ((alists (find-all-instances-list pat clause nil)))
     ((null alists) nil)
     (t (list :use (make-lemma-instances name alists))))))
The design of this particular hint function makes it important that the variables of the pattern be the variables of the named lemma and that all of the variables we wish to instantiate occur in the pattern. We could, of course, redesign it to allow ``free variables'' or some sort of renaming.

We could now use this hint as shown below:

(defthm ... ...
  :hints ((add-corresponding-instances
           '(SWAP x)
The effect of the hint above is that any time a clause arises in which any instance of (SWAP x) appears, we add the corresponding instance of ALL-SWAPS-HAVE-THE-PROPERTY. So for example, if Subgoal *1/3.5 contains the subterm (SWAP (SWAP A)) then this hint fires and makes the system behave as though the hint:
("Subgoal *1/3.5"
had been present.