Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Overall Objectives

Overall Objectives

Computers and programs running on these computers are powerful tools for many domains of human activities. In some of these domains, program errors can have enormous consequences. It will become crucial for all stakeholders that the best techniques are used when designing these programs.

We advocate using higher-order logic proof assistants as tools to obtain better quality programs and designs. These tools make it possible to build designs where all decisive arguments are explicit, ambiguity is alleviated, and logical steps can be verified precisely. In practice, we are intensive users of the Coq system and we participate actively to the development of this tool, in collaboration with other teams at Inria, and we also take an active part in advocating its usage by academics and industrial users around the world.

Many domains of modern computer science and engineering make a heavy use of mathematics. If we wish to use proof assistants to avoid errors in designs, we need to develop corpora of formally verified mathematics that are adapted to these domains. Developing libraries of formally verified mathematics is the main motivation for our research. In these libraries, we wish to capture not only the knowledge that is usualy recorded in definitions and theorems, but also the practical knowledge that is recorded in mathematical practice, idoms, and work habits. Thus, we are interested in logical facts, algorithms, and notation habits. Also, the very process of developing an ambitious library is a matter of organisation, with design decisions that need to be evaluated and improved. Refactoring of libraries is also an important topic. Among all higher-order logic based proof assistants, we contend that those based on Type theory are the best suited for this work on libraries, thanks to to they strong capabilities for abstraction and modular re-use.

The interface between mathematics, computer science and engineering is large. To focus our activities, we will concentrate our activity on applications of proof assistants to two main domains: cryptography and robotics. We also develop specific tools for proofs in cryptography, mainly around a proof tool named EasyCrypt.