Probabilistic logic programming

Raymond Ng*, V. S. Subrahmanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


Of all scientific investigations into reasoning with uncertainty and chance, probability theory is perhaps the best understood paradigm. Nevertheless, all studies conducted thus far into the semantics of quantitative logic programming have restricted themselves to non-probabilistic semantic characterizations. In this paper, we take a few steps towards rectifying this situation. We define a logic programming language that is syntactically similar to the annotated logics of Blair and Subrahmanian (Theoret. Comput. Sci.68 (1987), 35-54; J. Non-Classical Logic5 (1988), 45-73) but in which the truth values are interpreted probabilistically. A probabilistic model theory and fixpoint theory is developed for such programs. This probabilistic model theory satisfies the requirements proposed by Fenstad (in "Studies in Inductive Logic and Probabilities" (R. C. Jeffrey, Ed.), Vol. 2, pp. 251-262, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1980) for a function to be called probabilistic. The logical treatment of probabilities is complicated by two facts: first, that the connectives cannot be interpreted truth-functionally when truth values are regarded as probabilities; second, that negation-free definite-clause-like sentences can be inconsistent when interpreted probabilistically. We address these issues here and propose a formalism for probabilistic reasoning in logic programming. To our knowledge, this is the first probabilistic characterization of logic programming semantics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-201
Number of pages52
JournalInformation and Computation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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