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Semantics of Logic Programs with Aggregates
Advisors: Maurice Bruynooghe and Marc Denecker
Aggregates are functions that take sets as arguments. Examples are the function that maps a set to the number of its elements or the function which maps a set to its minimal element. Aggregates are frequently used in relational databases and have many applications in combinatorial search problems and knowledge representation. Aggregates are of particular importance for several extensions of logic programming which are used for declarative programming like Answer Set Programming, Abductive Logic Programming, and the logic of inductive definitions (ID-Logic). Aggregate atoms not only allow a broader class of problems to be represented in a natural way but also allow a more compact representation of problems which often leads to faster solving times.
Extensions of specific semantics of logic programs with, in many cases, specific aggregate relations have been proposed before. The main contributions of this thesis are: (i) we extend all major semantics of logic programs: the least model semantics of definite logic programs, the standard model semantics of stratified programs, the Clark completion semantics, the well-founded semantics, the stable models semantics, and the three-valued stable semantics; (ii) our framework admits arbitrary aggregate relations in the bodies of rules.
We follow a denotational approach in which a semantics is defined as a (set of) fixpoint(s) of an operator associated with a program. The main tool of this work is Approximation Theory. This is an algebraic theory which defines different types of fixpoints of an approximating operator associated with a logic program. All major semantics of a logic program correspond to specific types of fixpoints of an approximating operator introduced by Fitting. We study different approximating operators for aggregate programs and investigate the precision and complexity of the semantics generated by them. We study in detail one specific operator which extends the Fitting operator and whose semantics extends the three-valued stable semantics of logic programs without aggregates. We look at algorithms, complexity, transformations of aggregate atoms and programs, and an implementation in XSB Prolog.text (.pdf, 816K) / more info / mailto: dtai team