ABox Abduction via Forgetting in ALC (Long Version)

Del-Pinto, Warren, Schmidt, Renate A.

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence 

Abductive reasoning generates explanatory hypotheses for new observations using prior knowledge. This paper investigates the use of forgetting, also known as uniform interpolation, to perform ABox abduction in description logic (ALC) ontologies. Non-abducibles are specified by a forgetting signature which can contain concept, but not role, symbols. The resulting hypotheses are semantically minimal and each consist of a set of disjuncts. These disjuncts are each independent explanations, and are not redundant with respect to the background ontology or the other disjuncts, representing a form of hypothesis space. The observations and hypotheses handled by the method can contain both atomic or complex ALC concepts, excluding role assertions, and are not restricted to Horn clauses. Two approaches to redundancy elimination are explored for practical use: full and approximate. Using a prototype implementation, experiments were performed over a corpus of real world ontologies to investigate the practicality of both approaches across several settings.