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Propositional Logic

STACK loads the "logic" package from Maxima.

Boolean functions

Maxima has Boolean operators and, or, and not. These rely on the underlying LISP implementation and as a result the simp:false is ignored.
To illustrate the problem, try the following.

simp:false$
true and true;
x=1 or x=2;

The results respectively (of the second two) are

true;
false;

Note, there is no mechanism in Maxima to represent a list of assignments such as x=1 or x=2, which would be a natural way to express the solution to a quadratic equation.

To solve this problem STACK has introduced nounand and nounor which are commutative and associative operators.

Students do not need to use nounand and nounor in answers.
Any and and or operators occurring in their answers are always automatically converted into these noun forms.

Teachers always need to use nounand and nounor in CAS expressions when they want to write non-simplifying expressions.
For example, when defining the "teacher's answer" they should use the noun forms as appropriate.
Teachers often need to use Boolean logic, and so need to consciously separate the difference between these operators and concepts.

Note, the answer tests do not convert noun forms to the Maxima forms.
Otherwise both x=1 or x=2 and x=1 or x=3 would be evaluated to false and a teacher could not tell that they are different!
To replace all nounand (etc) operators and replace them with the Maxima equivalent, use noun_logic_remove(ex).

Operators and notes

  1. and This is a lisp function. Teachers should use nounand to prevent evaluation of x=1 and x=0 to false even without simplification. Students type and and this is always converted internally to nounand.
  2. or This is a lisp function. Teachers should use nounor to prevent evaluation of x=1 or x=0 to false even without simplification. Students type or and this is always converted internally to nounor.
  3. not This is a lisp function. Teachers should use nounnot to prevent evaluation. Students type not and this is always converted internally to nounnot.
  4. nand is provided by the logic package, which respects the value of simp.
  5. nor is provided by the logic package, which respects the value of simp.
  6. xor is provided by the logic package, which respects the value of simp.
  7. eq is provided by the logic package, but this input syntax is not supported in STACK. Instead we provide an xnor function.
  8. implies is provided by the logic package, which respects the value of simp.

Notes

  • There is no support for symbolic logic symbol input currently and students cannot type &, * for and, and similarly + students cannot type for or.
  • There is no existential operator (not that this is propositional logic, but for the record) or an interpretation of '?' as there exits, and there is no universal operator (which some people type in as !).

The function verb_logic(ex) will remove the noun forms such as nounand and subsitute in the lisp versions, this will enable evaluation of expressions. The function noun_logic(ex) will replace any remaining lisp but beware that any evaluation (even with simp:false) will evaluate lisp logical expressions. It is best to use noun forms at the outset, e.g. in the question variables, and only use the lisp forms when calculating, e.g. to evaluate in the PRT.

Answer tests

The answer tests protect the logical operators. This behaviour is to prevent evaluation of expressions such as x=1 as a boolean predicate fuction. I.e. the default behaviour is to give priority to the assumption an arbitary expression is an algebraic expression, or a set of equations, inequalities etc. The other answer tests (e.g. algebraic equivalence) will do there best.

The answer test PropLogic replaces all noun logical expressions with the Maxima versions, and then tests two expressions using the function logic_equiv from Maxima's logic package. This answer test does not support sets, lists, etc.

The value of the student's answer will always have nounand etc. inserted. Before you manipulate the student's answer, e.g. with the logic package functions, you will need to apply noun_logic_remove(ex).

Truth tables

STACK provides various functions for creating and dealing with tables.

truth_table(ex) returns the true table of the expression ex. The function will throw an error if the number of variables exceeds 5. The first row of the table is the headings, consisting of a list of variables, and the expression itself. See the documentation on tables for more functionality.


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