We report on a formalization of ordinals and cardinals in Isabelle/HOL. A main challenge we faced is the inability of higher-order logic to represent ordinals canonically, as transitive sets (as done in set theory). We resolved this into a "decentralized" representation that identifies ordinals with wellorders, with all concepts and results proved to be invariant under order isomorphism. We also discuss two applications of this general theory in formal developments.
The final publication is available at link.springer.com.Paper draft