Herbrand’s theorem is one of the most fundamental insights in logic. From the syntactic point of view, it suggests a compact representation of proofs in classical first- and higher-order logics by recording the information of which instances have been chosen for which quantifiers. This compact representation is known in the literature as Miller’s expansion tree proof. It is inherently analytic and hence corresponds to a cut-free sequent calculus proof. Recently several extensions of such proof representations to proofs with cuts have been proposed. These extensions are based on graphical formalisms similar to proof nets and are limited to prenex formulas.
In this paper, we present a new syntactic approach that directly extends Miller’s expansion trees by cuts and also covers non-prenex formulas. We describe a cut-elimination procedure for our expansion trees with cut that is based on the natural reduction steps and shows that it is weakly normalizing.