Document details

Modular Logic Programming: Full Compositionality and Conflict Handling for Practical Reasoning

Author(s): Moura, João Manuel Gomes

Date: 2016

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório Institucional da UNL

Subject(s): Logic Programming; Answer Set Programming; Paracoherence; Paraconsistency; Modular Logic Programming; Probabilistic Logic Programming; Domínio/Área Científica::Engenharia e Tecnologia::Engenharia Eletrotécnica, Eletrónica e Informática; Domínio/Área Científica::Engenharia e Tecnologia::Engenharia Eletrotécnica, Eletrónica e Informática; Domínio/Área Científica::Engenharia e Tecnologia::Engenharia Eletrotécnica, Eletrónica e Informática


With the recent development of a new ubiquitous nature of data and the profusity of available knowledge, there is nowadays the need to reason from multiple sources of often incomplete and uncertain knowledge. Our goal was to provide a way to combine declarative knowledge bases – represented as logic programming modules under the answer set semantics – as well as the individual results one already inferred from them, without having to recalculate the results for their composition and without having to explicitly know the original logic programming encodings that produced such results. This posed us many challenges such as how to deal with fundamental problems of modular frameworks for logic programming, namely how to define a general compositional semantics that allows us to compose unrestricted modules. Building upon existing logic programming approaches, we devised a framework capable of composing generic logic programming modules while preserving the crucial property of compositionality, which informally means that the combination of models of individual modules are the models of the union of modules. We are also still able to reason in the presence of knowledge containing incoherencies, which is informally characterised by a logic program that does not have an answer set due to cyclic dependencies of an atom from its default negation. In this thesis we also discuss how the same approach can be extended to deal with probabilistic knowledge in a modular and compositional way. We depart from the Modular Logic Programming approach in Oikarinen & Janhunen (2008); Janhunen et al. (2009) which achieved a restricted form of compositionality of answer set programming modules. We aim at generalising this framework of modular logic programming and start by lifting restrictive conditions that were originally imposed, and use alternative ways of combining these (so called by us) Generalised Modular Logic Programs. We then deal with conflicts arising in generalised modular logic programming and provide modular justifications and debugging for the generalised modular logic programming setting, where justification models answer the question: Why is a given interpretation indeed an Answer Set? and Debugging models answer the question: Why is a given interpretation not an Answer Set? In summary, our research deals with the problematic of formally devising a generic modular logic programming framework, providing: operators for combining arbitrary modular logic programs together with a compositional semantics; We characterise conflicts that occur when composing access control policies, which are generalisable to our context of generalised modular logic programming, and ways of dealing with them syntactically: provided a unification for justification and debugging of logic programs; and semantically: provide a new semantics capable of dealing with incoherences. We also provide an extension of modular logic programming to a probabilistic setting. These goals are already covered with published work. A prototypical tool implementing the unification of justifications and debugging is available for download from

Document Type Doctoral thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Damásio, Carlos
Contributor(s) Moura, João Manuel Gomes
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