When Logical Conclusions Do Not Hold True. Inference rules are called nonmonotonic when they allow intelligent systems "to augment their beliefs by new ones that do not logically follow from their explicit ones" and this or another inference may have to be retracted.
Ordinary inference rules are monotonic "because the set of theorems derivable from premises is not reduced by adding to the premises."
– from Logical foundations of artificial intelligence by MR Genesereth and NJ Nilsson (1987)
Decision theory and nonmonotonic logics are formalisms that can be employed to represent and solve problems of planning under uncertainty. We analyze the usefulness of these two approaches by establishing a simple correspondence between the two formalisms. The analysis indicates that planning using nonmonotonic logic comprises two decision-theoretic concepts: probabilities (degrees of belief in planning hypotheses) and utilities (degrees of preference for planning outcomes). We present and discuss examples of the following lessons from this decision-theoretic view of nonmonotonic reasoning: (1) decision theory and nonmonotonic logics are intended to solve different components of the planning problem; (2) when considered in the context of planning under uncertainty, nonmonotonic logics do not retain the domain-independent characteristics of classical (monotonic) logic; and (3) because certain nonmonotonic programming paradigms (for example, frame-based inheritance, nonmonotonic logics) are inherently problem specific, they might be inappropriate for use in solving certain types of planning problems. We discuss how these conclusions affect several current AI research issues.
We propose an approach to the definition of microservices with an Answer Set Programming (ASP) `core', where microservices are a successful abstraction for designing distributed applications as suites of independently deployable interacting components. Such ASP-based components might be employed in distributed architectures related to Cloud Computing or to the Internet of Things (IoT).
In complex areas such as law and science, knowledge has been in centuries formulated by primarily describing prototypical instances and properties, and then by overriding the general theory to include possible exceptions. For example, many laws are formulated by adding new norms that, in case of conflicts, may partially or completely override the previous ones. Similarly, biologists have been incrementally introducing exceptions to general properties. For instance, the human heart is usually located in the left-hand half of the thorax. Still there are exceptional individuals, with so-called situs inversus, whose heart is located on the opposite side. Eukariotic cells are those with a proper nucleus, by definition. Still they comprise mammalian red blood cells, that in their mature stage have no nucleus.
We propose a novel ranking-based semantics for Dung-style argumentation frameworks with the help of conditional logics. Using an intuitive translation for an argumentation framework to generate conditionals, we can apply nonmonotonic inference systems to generate a ranking on possible worlds. With this ranking we construct a ranking for our arguments. With a small extension to this ranking-based semantics we already satisfy some desirable properties for a ranking over arguments.
Justification theory is a unifying semantic framework. While it has its roots in non-monotonic logics, it can be applied to various areas in computer science, especially in explainable reasoning; its most central concept is a justification: an explanation why a property holds (or does not hold) in a model. In this paper, we continue the study of justification theory by means of three major contributions. The first is studying the relation between justification theory and game theory. We show that justification frameworks can be seen as a special type of games. The established connection provides the theoretical foundations for our next two contributions. The second contribution is studying under which condition two different dialects of justification theory (graphs as explanations vs trees as explanations) coincide. The third contribution is establishing a precise criterion of when a semantics induced by justification theory yields consistent results. In the past proving that such semantics were consistent took cumbersome and elaborate proofs. We show that these criteria are indeed satisfied for all common semantics of logic programming. This paper is under consideration for acceptance in Theory and Practice of Logic Programming (TPLP).
A conditional knowledge base R is a set of conditionals of the form "If A, the usually B". Using structural information derived from the conditionals in R, we introduce the preferred structure relation on worlds. The preferred structure relation is the core ingredient of a new inference relation called system W inference that inductively completes the knowledge given explicitly in R. We show that system W exhibits desirable inference properties like satisfying system P and avoiding, in contrast to e.g. system Z, the drowning problem. It fully captures and strictly extends both system Z and skeptical c-inference. In contrast to skeptical c-inference, it does not require to solve a complex constraint satisfaction problem, but is as tractable as system Z.
Nonmonotonic reasoning concerns situations when information is incomplete or uncertain. Thus, conclusions drawn lack iron-clad certainty that comes with classical logic reasoning. New information, even if the original one is retained, may change conclusions. Formal ways to capture mechanisms involved in nonmonotonic reasoning, and to exploit them for computation as in the answer set programming paradigm are at the heart of this research area. The six papers accepted for the special track contain significant contributions to the foundations of logic programming under the answer set semantics, to nonmonotonic extensions of description logics, to belief change in restricted settings, and to argumentation.
Linear Logic and Defeasible Logic have been adopted to formalise different features of knowledge representation: consumption of resources, and non monotonic reasoning in particular to represent exceptions. Recently, a framework to combine sub-structural features, corresponding to the consumption of resources, with defeasibility aspects to handle potentially conflicting information, has been discussed in literature, by some of the authors. Two applications emerged that are very relevant: energy management and business process management. We illustrate a set of guide lines to determine how to apply linear defeasible logic to those contexts.
Reasoning in the context of a conditional knowledge base containing rules of the form ’If A then usually B’ can be defined in terms of preference relations on possible worlds. These preference relations can be modeled by ranking functions that assign a degree of disbelief to each possible world. In general, there are multiple ranking functions that accept a given knowledge base. Several nonmonotonic inference relations have been proposed using c-representations, a subset of all ranking functions. These inference relations take subsets of all c-representations based on various notions of minimality into account, and they operate in different inference modes, i.e., skeptical, weakly skeptical, or credulous. For nonmonotonic inference relations, weaker versions of monotonicity like rational monotony (RM) and weak rational monotony (WRM) have been developed. In this paper, we investigate which of the inference relations induced by sets of minimal c-representations satisfy rational monotony or weak rational monotony.
Controlled natural languages (CNLs) are effective languages for knowledge representation and reasoning. They are designed based on certain natural languages with restricted lexicon and grammar. CNLs are unambiguous and simple as opposed to their base languages. They preserve the expressiveness and coherence of natural languages. In this report, we focus on a class of CNLs, called machine-oriented CNLs, which have well-defined semantics that can be deterministically translated into formal languages, such as Prolog, to do logical reasoning. Over the past 20 years, a number of machine-oriented CNLs emerged and have been used in many application domains for problem solving and question answering. However, few of them support non-monotonic inference. In our work, we propose non-monotonic extensions of CNL to support defeasible reasoning. In the first part of this report, we survey CNLs and compare three influential systems: Attempto Controlled English (ACE), Processable English (PENG), and Computer-processable English (CPL). We compare their language design, semantic interpretations, and reasoning services. In the second part of this report, we first identify typical non-monotonicity in natural languages, such as defaults, exceptions and conversational implicatures. Then, we propose their representation in CNL and the corresponding formalizations in a form of defeasible reasoning known as Logic Programming with Defaults and Argumentation Theory (LPDA).