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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Computer Science

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Yuriy Brun

Second Advisor

Arjun Guha

Third Advisor

George Avrunin

Fourth Advisor

Talia Ringer


Formally verified correctness is one of the most desirable properties of software systems. Despite great progress made toward verification via interactive proof assistants, such as Coq and Isabelle/HOL, such verification remains one of the most effort-intensive (and often prohibitively difficult) software development activities. Recent work has created tools that automatically synthesize proofs either through reasoning using precomputed facts or using machine learning to model proofs and then perform biased search through the proof space. However, models in existing tools fail to capture the richness present in proofs, such as the information the programmer has access to when writing proofs and the natural language contained within variable names. Furthermore, these prior models do not make use of variations in the learning process and advances in large language models.

In this dissertation, I develop tools to improve proof synthesis and to enable fully automating more verification. I first present TacTok, a proof-synthesis tool that models proofs using both the partial proof written thus far and the semantics of the proof state. I then present Diva, a proof-synthesis tool that controls the learning process to produce a diverse set of models and, due to the unique nature of proof synthesis (the existence of the theorem prover, an oracle that infallibly judges a proof’s correctness), efficiently combines these models to improve the overall proving power. I then present Passport, a proof-synthesis tool that systematically explores different ways of encoding identifiers in proofs to improve synthesis. Finally, I present Baldur, a proof-synthesis tool that uses transformer-based pretrained large language models fine-tuned on proofs to generate and repair whole proofs at once, rather than one step at a time.

This dissertation contributes new ideas for improving automated proof synthesis and empirically demonstrates that the improvement is significant on large benchmarks consisting of open-source software projects.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.