Forgetting as a knowledge management operation has received much less attention than operations like inference, or revision. It was mainly in the area of logic programming that techniques and axiomatic properties have been studied systematically. However, at least from a cognitive view, forgetting plays an important role in restructuring and reorganizing a human's mind, and it is closely related to notions like relevance and independence which are crucial to knowledge representation and reasoning. In this paper, we propose axiomatic properties of (intentional) forgetting for general epistemic frameworks which are inspired by those for logic programming, and we evaluate various forgetting operations which have been proposed recently by Beierle et al. according to them. The general aim of this paper is to advance formal studies of (intentional) forgetting operators while capturing the many facets of forgetting in a unifying framework in which different forgetting operators can be contrasted and distinguished by means of formal properties.
Forgetting is an operation on knowledge bases that has been addressed in different areas of Knowledge Representation and with respect to different formalisms, including classical propositional and first-order logic, modal logics, logic programming, and description logics. Definitions of forgetting have been expressed in terms of manipulation of formulas, sets of postulates, isomorphisms between models, bisimulations, second-order quantification, elementary equivalence, and others. In this paper, forgetting is regarded as an abstract belief change operator, independent of the underlying logic. The central thesis is that forgetting amounts to a reduction in the language, specifically the signature, of a logic. The main definition is simple: the result of forgetting a portion of a signature in a theory is given by the set of logical consequences of this theory over the reduced language. This definition offers several advantages. Foremost, it provides a uniform approach to forgetting, with a definition that is applicable to any logic with a well-defined consequence relation. Hence it generalises a disparate set of logic-specific definitions with a general, high-level definition. Results obtained in this approach are thus applicable to all subsumed formal systems, and many results are obtained much more straightforwardly. This view also leads to insights with respect to specific logics: for example, forgetting in first-order logic is somewhat different from the accepted approach. Moreover, the approach clarifies the relation between forgetting and related operations, including belief contraction.
Many approaches for forgetting in Answer Set Programming (ASP) have been proposed in recent years, in the form of specific operators, or classes of operators, following different principles and obeying different properties. Whereas each approach was developed to somehow address some particular view on forgetting, thus aimed at obeying a specific set of properties deemed adequate for such view, we are lacking a comprehensive and uniform overview of existing operators and properties. We aim at overcoming this by thoroughly examining existing properties and (classes of) operators for forgetting in ASP, drawing a complete picture, which includes many novel (even surprising) results on relations between properties and operators. Our goal is to provide a guide to help users in choosing the most adequate operator for their application requirements.
A Forgetting is an operation for eliminating variables from a semantic theory of forgetting for normal logic programs knowledge base (Lin and Reiter 1994; Lang, Liberatore, and under answer set semantics is introduced in (Wang, Sattar, Marquis 2003). It constitutes a reduction in an agent's language and Su 2005), in which a sound and complete algorithm or, more accurately, the agent's signature. It has also is developed based on a series of program transformations; been studied under different names, such as variable elimination, this theory is further developed and extended uniform interpolation and relevance (Subramanian, to disjunctive logic programs in (Eiter and Wang 2006; Greiner, and Pearl 1997). Forgetting has various possible 2008). However, this theory of forgetting is defined in terms applications in a reasoning system. For example, in query of answer sets rather than SE models, and so again is not answering, if one can determine what is relevant to a query, syntax-independent.
The theory of (variable) forgetting has received significant attention in nonmonotonic reasoning, especially, in answer set programming. However, the problem of establishing a theory of forgetting for some expressive nonmonotonic logics such as McCarthy's circumscription is rarely explored.In this paper a theory of forgetting for propositional circumscription is proposed, which is not a straightforward adaption of existing approaches. In particular, some properties that are essential for existing proposals do not hold any longer or have to be reformulated. Several useful properties of the new forgetting are proved, which demonstrate suitability of the forgetting for circumscription. A sound and complete algorithm for the forgetting is developed and an analysis of computational complexity is given.