Photo of Sean Holden
Dr Sean Holden
University Associate Professor
of Computer Science

Version 0.1

Source: connect++-source-v0.1.tar.gz

README: here

Doxygen documentation: here.

Version 0.2

Source: connect++-source-v0.2.tar.gz

README: here

Doxygen documentation: here.

Version 0.2.1

Source: connect++-source-v0.2.1.tar.gz

README: here

Doxygen documentation: here.

Version 0.3.0

Source: connect++-source-v0.3.0.tar.gz

README: here

Doxygen documentation: here.

Version 0.4.0

Source: connect++-source-v0.4.0.tar.gz

README: here

Doxygen documentation: here.

Version 0.5.0

Source: connect++-source-v0.5.0.tar.gz

Doxygen documentation: here.

Connect++ logo.


The Connect++ theorem prover is now part of the Thousands of Problems for Theorem Provers infrastructure. You can use it here:

Connect++ is a fast, readable, C++ implementation of a connection prover for first order logic. It is designed somewhat in the spirit of MiniSAT, with the aim of providing a reference implementation that is easily modifiable by others. In particular, it aims to provide a basis for experiments on improving automated theorem provers using machine learning.

Connect++ is licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 3.

You can download the source from:

The version currently available is V0.5.0.


Sean Holden is the author of Connect++ and can be contacted at

Home page:

How to build and use Connect++

Note to M$ Windows users. Sorry, but so far the distribution is very much designed for Linux/OS X. I intend at some point to extend the cmake infrastructure to build for Windows, but don't expect this to happen any time soon. Go on! Install Linux! (You know you want to...)

Having said that, you may of course find that cmake can generate a project file for Visual Studio or similar. I haven't tried this. If you try it, please let me know how you get on.

Install the Boost C++ libraries

Connect++ uses Boost libraries for parsing, for processing command-line options, and for computing hash functions. Also, for some random number generation. Depending on what's being developed there may be other uses involved. Mostly the Boost libraries are header-only, but command-line processing (at least) requires a compiled library.

Your preferred Linux flavour's package manager, along with Homebrew and MacPorts on OS X, will probably make it easy to install the Boost libaries. Alternatively, you can download the Boost libraries from:

and compile from source.

Connect++ currently uses Version 1_84_0. Install so that the libraries that require compilation are included.

Install SWI Prolog (optional)

Earlier versions of Connect++ used a short Prolog program to verify proofs. This function is now built-in, but the Prolog proof verifier is included in the distribution. If you want to use it, you need SWI Prolog, which is available here:

or will probably be provided by the various package managers.

Compile Connect++

If you don't have cmake, install it, either via a package manager or from:

If you have installed the Boost libraries and SWI Prolog in the usual locations then cmake should find and use them automatically:

> tar -xf connect++-source-v0.5.0.tar.gz
> cd connect++-source-v0.5.0
> mkdir build
> cd build
> cmake ../source
> make

You should now have the connect++ executable in the build directory.

If cmake can not find the Boost libraries try:

> cmake ../source -D BOOST_INCLUDEDIR=/where/is/include -D BOOST_LIBRARYDIR=/where/is/lib

If you don't need the Prolog proof verifier use:

> make ../source -D INCLUDE_PROLOG=OFF

If you do want the Prolog proof verifier, but cmake can't find the swipl executable, use:

> cmake ../source -D swipl_PATH=/where/is/swipl

When make succeeds, try:

> ./connect++ --version
> ./connect++ --help

and you should see some useful information.

Run Doxygen

The source is commented in a format allowing Doxygen to generate documentation. The output can be found on the project web site:

If you want to reformat it to your taste then you can install Doxygen from:

Prove a theorem

Connect++ reads problems in the CNF and FOF formats defined by the Thousands of Problems for Theorem Provers (TPTP) collection. It will process includes, and if it detects the use of equality it will generate the necessary axioms (unless you ask it not to). TPTP along with varioous tools and a description of the format can be found here:

If you have TPTP installed then you can set the environment variable TPTP to the relevant path and Connect++ will use it:

> export TPTP=where/to/find/TPTP-v8.2.0

Alternatively use the --tptp command-line argument. Assuming you've set the TPTP environment variable and have TPTP installed, you should now be able to do, for example:

> ./connect++ --schedule default Problems/SET/SET002+3.p

The last line of the output should be:

> % SZS status Theorem for SET002+3

Note that by default Connect++ implements the TPTP standard of treating constants in double quotes as distinct objects. So for example:

> fof(distinct_objects, conjecture, "Sean" != "Tarquin").

will be a theorem, but:

> fof(distinct_objects, conjecture, Sean != Tarquin).

won't. If you don't want this behaviour use the --no-distinct-objects command-line option.

Other environment variables

The CONNECTPP_PATH environment variable can be used to set the destination for Prolog-readable representations of the proof and the matrix. These will be produced if you use the --prolog command-line option.

Visualising proofs

Connect++ can produce a LaTeX-formatted visualization of a proof. Use the --latex command-line option to do this:

> ./connect++ --schedule default --latex default Problems/SET/SET002+3.p

Using --latex default will produce a file ./latex_proof.tex. When processed you may find you have to zoom in on it as proofs can be quite large. If you want a different filename/location then specify it instead of default.

Verifying proofs

Connect++ can output a proof certificate and verify it. You can do this manually, or ask for it to happen automatically. Manual verification requires SWI Prolog, as mentioned above.

Manual verification

Run for example:

> ./connect++ --schedule default --prolog Problems/SET/SET002+3.p

Connect++ places the files and in CONNECTPP_PATH. These are prolog-readable summaries of the matrix and proof.

In the build directory you will find check_proof. (Assuming you included it in the build.) Now place and in the same directory as check_proof and run:

> ./check_proof

for a (very) short summary output or:

> ./check_proof v

for a detailed output.

Automatic verification

To get automatic verification when a result is proved, use the --verify command-line argument:

> ./connect++ --schedule default --verify Problems/SET/SET002+3.p

The last line of the output from the prover should now be:

> % SZS status Theorem for SET002+3 : Verified

If you see FailedVerification instead of Verified then something is wrong!

If you want a detailed explanation use --full-verify. If you want to see a proof in a TPTP-friendly format use --tptp-proof.

Release Notes



If you find Connect++ useful, please cite it by way of the following publication, which describes the motivation and general thinking behind it:

Sean B Holden. CONNECT++: A New Automated Theorem Prover Based on the Connection Calculus. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Automated Reasoning with Connection Calculi (AReCCa), CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Volume 3613, pages 95--106, Prague, Czech Republic, 18th September 2023.