How is it that infinitary methods can be applied to finitary mathematics? Gödel's t: A case study

Journal of Symbolic Logic 63 (4):1348-1370 (1998)
Inspired by Pohlers' local predicativity approach to Pure Proof Theory and Howard's ordinal analysis of bar recursion of type zero we present a short, technically smooth and constructive strong normalization proof for Gödel's system T of primitive recursive functionals of finite types by constructing an ε 0 -recursive function [] 0 : T → ω so that a reduces to b implies [a] $_0 > [b]_0$ . The construction of [] 0 is based on a careful analysis of the Howard-Schütte treatment of Gödel's T and utilizes the collapsing function ψ: ε 0 → ω which has been developed by the author for a local predicativity style proof-theoretic analysis of PA. The construction of [] 0 is also crucially based on ideas developed in the 1995 paper "A proof of strongly uniform termination for Gödel's T by the method of local predicativity" by the author. The results on complexity bounds for the fragments of T which are obtained in this paper strengthen considerably the results of the 1995 paper. Indeed, for given n let T n be the subsystem of T in which the recursors have type level less than or equal to n+2. (By definition, case distinction functionals for every type are also contained in T n .) As a corollary of the main theorem of this paper we obtain (reobtain?) optimal bounds for the T n -derivation lengths in terms of ω n+2 -descent recursive functions. The derivation lengths of type one functionals from T n (hence also their computational complexities) are classified optimally in terms of $ -descent recursive functions. In particular we obtain (reobtain?) that the derivation lengths function of a type one functional a ∈ T 0 is primitive recursive, thus any type one functional a in T 0 defines a primitive recursive function. Similarly we also obtain (reobtain?) a full classification of T 1 in terms of multiple recursion. As proof-theoretic corollaries we reobtain the classification of the IΣ n+1 -provably recursive functions. Taking advantage from our finitistic and constructive treatment of the terms of Gödel's T we reobtain additionally (without employing continuous cut elimination techniques) that PRA + PRWO ( $\varepsilon_0) \vdash \Pi^0_2$ - Refl(PA) and PRA + PRWO ( $\omega_{n+2}) \vdash \Pi^0_2$ - Refl(I Σ n+1 ), hence PRA + PRWO( $\epsilon_0) \vdash$ Con(PA) and PRA + PRWO( $\omega_{n+2}) \vdash$ Con(IΣ n+1 ). For programmatic reasons we outline in the introduction a vision of how to apply a certain type of infinitary methods to questions of finitary mathematics and recursion theory. We also indicate some connections between ordinals, term rewriting, recursion theory and computational complexity.
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DOI 10.2307/2586654
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References found in this work BETA
Jean-Yves Girard (1981). Π12-Logic, Part 1: Dilators. Annals of Mathematical Logic 21 (2-3):75-219.
Wilfried Buchholz (1991). Notation Systems for Infinitary Derivations. Archive for Mathematical Logic 30 (5-6):277-296.

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