The Characteristic Set Method

Developed from J. F. Ritt's work on differential algebra, the Characteristic Set Method was discovered independently by the Chinese mathematician Wen-tsun Wu in 1978. Hence the name Wu's Method. Wu rediscovered the characteristic set method in the context of his work on mechanical geometry theorem proving. He transferred the algorithmic aspects of Ritt's method to ordinary polynomial rings with the intent of finding an effective method for automating theorem proving in elementary geometry. Since then the method has proven to have a variety of applications.


The Characteristic Set Method has proven to have many applications. Dongming Wang has given a survey on the applications of the Characteristic Set Method. Interested reader is refered to references listed in the following bibliography. Here is a listing of some of the applications where the Characteristic Set Method is applied.


The Characteristic Sets Method has been implemented on most Computer Algebra Systems including Mathematica, Maple, Macsyma, Axiom etc. None commercial implementations include:


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