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Answer set programming and other computing paradigms

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Answer Set Programming (ASP) is one of the most prominent and successful knowledge representation paradigms. The success of ASP is due to its expressive non-monotonic modeling language and its efficient

Answer Set Programming (ASP) is one of the most prominent and successful knowledge representation paradigms. The success of ASP is due to its expressive non-monotonic modeling language and its efficient computational methods originating from building propositional satisfiability solvers. The wide adoption of ASP has motivated several extensions to its modeling language in order to enhance expressivity, such as incorporating aggregates and interfaces with ontologies. Also, in order to overcome the grounding bottleneck of computation in ASP, there are increasing interests in integrating ASP with other computing paradigms, such as Constraint Programming (CP) and Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT). Due to the non-monotonic nature of the ASP semantics, such enhancements turned out to be non-trivial and the existing extensions are not fully satisfactory. We observe that one main reason for the difficulties rooted in the propositional semantics of ASP, which is limited in handling first-order constructs (such as aggregates and ontologies) and functions (such as constraint variables in CP and SMT) in natural ways. This dissertation presents a unifying view on these extensions by viewing them as instances of formulas with generalized quantifiers and intensional functions. We extend the first-order stable model semantics by by Ferraris, Lee, and Lifschitz to allow generalized quantifiers, which cover aggregate, DL-atoms, constraints and SMT theory atoms as special cases. Using this unifying framework, we study and relate different extensions of ASP. We also present a tight integration of ASP with SMT, based on which we enhance action language C+ to handle reasoning about continuous changes. Our framework yields a systematic approach to study and extend non-monotonic languages.

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  • 2013

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Bridging the gap between classical logic based formalisms and logic programs

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Different logic-based knowledge representation formalisms have different limitations either with respect to expressivity or with respect to computational efficiency. First-order logic, which is the basis of Description Logics (DLs), is

Different logic-based knowledge representation formalisms have different limitations either with respect to expressivity or with respect to computational efficiency. First-order logic, which is the basis of Description Logics (DLs), is not suitable for defeasible reasoning due to its monotonic nature. The nonmonotonic formalisms that extend first-order logic, such as circumscription and default logic, are expressive but lack efficient implementations. The nonmonotonic formalisms that are based on the declarative logic programming approach, such as Answer Set Programming (ASP), have efficient implementations but are not expressive enough for representing and reasoning with open domains. This dissertation uses the first-order stable model semantics, which extends both first-order logic and ASP, to relate circumscription to ASP, and to integrate DLs and ASP, thereby partially overcoming the limitations of the formalisms. By exploiting the relationship between circumscription and ASP, well-known action formalisms, such as the situation calculus, the event calculus, and Temporal Action Logics, are reformulated in ASP. The advantages of these reformulations are shown with respect to the generality of the reasoning tasks that can be handled and with respect to the computational efficiency. The integration of DLs and ASP presented in this dissertation provides a framework for integrating rules and ontologies for the semantic web. This framework enables us to perform nonmonotonic reasoning with DL knowledge bases. Observing the need to integrate action theories and ontologies, the above results are used to reformulate the problem of integrating action theories and ontologies as a problem of integrating rules and ontologies, thus enabling us to use the computational tools developed in the context of the latter for the former.

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  • 2012

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Explainable AI in Workflow Development and Verification Using Pi-Calculus

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Computer science education is an increasingly vital area of study with various challenges that increase the difficulty level for new students resulting in higher attrition rates. As part of an

Computer science education is an increasingly vital area of study with various challenges that increase the difficulty level for new students resulting in higher attrition rates. As part of an effort to resolve this issue, a new visual programming language environment was developed for this research, the Visual IoT and Robotics Programming Language Environment (VIPLE). VIPLE is based on computational thinking and flowchart, which reduces the needs of memorization of detailed syntax in text-based programming languages. VIPLE has been used at Arizona State University (ASU) in multiple years and sections of FSE100 as well as in universities worldwide. Another major issue with teaching large programming classes is the potential lack of qualified teaching assistants to grade and offer insight to a student’s programs at a level beyond output analysis.

In this dissertation, I propose a novel framework for performing semantic autograding, which analyzes student programs at a semantic level to help students learn with additional and systematic help. A general autograder is not practical for general programming languages, due to the flexibility of semantics. A practical autograder is possible in VIPLE, because of its simplified syntax and restricted options of semantics. The design of this autograder is based on the concept of theorem provers. To achieve this goal, I employ a modified version of Pi-Calculus to represent VIPLE programs and Hoare Logic to formalize program requirements. By building on the inference rules of Pi-Calculus and Hoare Logic, I am able to construct a theorem prover that can perform automated semantic analysis. Furthermore, building on this theorem prover enables me to develop a self-learning algorithm that can learn the conditions for a program’s correctness according to a given solution program.

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  • 2020