A logic-based calculus of events. (English) Zbl 1356.68221

Summary: We outline an approach for reasoning about events and time within a logic programming framework. The notion of event is taken to be more primitive than that of time and both are represented explicitly by means of Horn clauses augmented with negation by failure.
The main intended applications are the updating of databases and narrative understanding. In contrast with conventional databases which assume that updates are made in the same order as the corresponding events occur in the real world, the explicit treatment of events allows us to deal with updates which provide new information about the past.
Default reasoning on the basis of incomplete information is obtained as a consequence of using negation by failure. Default conclusions are automatically withdrawn if the addition of new information renders them inconsistent.
Because events are differentiated from times, we can represent events with unknown times, as well as events which are partially ordered and concurrent.


68T27 Logic in artificial intelligence
68N17 Logic programming
Full Text: DOI


[1] Allen, J. F., ”Maintaining knowledge about temporal intervals,”TR-86, Computer Science Dept., Univ. of Rochester, January, 1981; also inCommun. ACM, 26 pp. 832–843, 1983. · Zbl 0519.68079
[2] Allen, J. F., ”Towards a General Theory of Action and Time,”Artificial Intelligence, 23, pp. 123–154, 1984. · Zbl 0567.68025
[3] Bolour, A., Anderson, T. L., Dekeyser, L. J., and Wong, H. K. T., ”The role of time in information processing: a survey,”ACM SIGMOD Review,Vol. 12,No. 3, April, 1982.
[4] Kowalski, R. A.,Logic for Problem Solving, North-Holland/Elsevier, New York, 1979. · Zbl 0426.68002
[5] McCarthy, J. and Hayes, P. J., ”Some philosophical problems from the standpoint of artificial intelligence,” inMachine Intelligence, 4 (B. Meltzer and D. Michie, eds.), Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1969. · Zbl 0226.68044
[6] Lee, R. M., Coelho, H. and Cotta, J. C., ”Temporal Inferencing on Administrative Databases,”Information Systems, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 197–206, 1985.
This reference list is based on information provided by the publisher or from digital mathematics libraries. Its items are heuristically matched to zbMATH identifiers and may contain data conversion errors. It attempts to reflect the references listed in the original paper as accurately as possible without claiming the completeness or perfect precision of the matching.