Third edition of Artificial Intelligence: foundations of computational agents, Cambridge University Press, 2023 is now available (including the full text).

### 5.2.2 Proofs

So far, we have specified what an answer is, but
not how it can be computed. The definition of * * specifies
what propositions should be logical consequences of a knowledge base but not how to compute
them. The problem of **deduction** is
to determine if some proposition is a logical consequence of a
knowledge base. Deduction is a specific form of **inference**.

A **proof** is a mechanically
derivable demonstration that a proposition logically follows from a
knowledge base. A **theorem** is a provable proposition.
A **proof procedure** is a - possibly non-deterministic - algorithm for deriving consequences of a
knowledge base. See the box for a
description of non-deterministic choice.

Given a proof procedure, *KB g* means *g* can be
**proved** or **derived**
from knowledge base
*KB*.

A proof procedure's quality can be judged by whether it computes what it is meant to compute.

A proof procedure is **sound** with respect
to a semantics if everything that can be derived from a knowledge base
is a logical consequence of the knowledge base. That is, if
*KB g*, then *KB g*.

A proof procedure is **complete** with
respect to a semantics if there is a proof of each logical consequence
of the knowledge base. That is, if *KB g*, then *KB g*.

We present two ways to construct proofs for propositional definite clauses: a bottom-up procedure and a top-down procedure.