## Institut für Informatik und Computational Science

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We introduce a simple approach extending the input language of Answer Set Programming (ASP) systems by multi-valued propositions. Our approach is implemented as a (prototypical) preprocessor translating logic programs with multi-valued propositions into logic programs with Boolean propositions only. Our translation is modular and heavily benefits from the expressive input language of ASP. The resulting approach, along with its implementation, allows for solving interesting constraint satisfaction problems in ASP, showing a good performance.

Motivation: Continued development of analytical techniques based on gas chromatography and mass spectrometry now facilitates the generation of larger sets of metabolite concentration data. An important step towards the understanding of metabolite dynamics is the recognition of stable states where metabolite concentrations exhibit a simple behaviour. Such states can be characterized through the identification of significant thresholds in the concentrations. But general techniques for finding discretization thresholds in continuous data prove to be practically insufficient for detecting states due to the weak conditional dependences in concentration data. Results: We introduce a method of recognizing states in the framework of decision tree induction. It is based upon a global analysis of decision forests where stability and quality are evaluated. It leads to the detection of thresholds that are both comprehensible and robust. Applied to metabolite concentration data, this method has led to the discovery of hidden states in the corresponding variables. Some of these reflect known properties of the biological experiments, and others point to putative new states

The family of default logics
(1998)

We introduce formal proof systems based on tableau methods for analyzing computations in Answer Set Programming (ASP). Our approach furnishes fine-grained instruments for characterizing operations as well as strategies of ASP solvers. The granularity is detailed enough to capture a variety of propagation and choice methods of algorithms used for ASP solving, also incorporating SAT-based and conflict-driven learning approaches to some extent. This provides us with a uniform setting for identifying and comparing fundamental properties of ASP solving approaches. In particular, we investigate their proof complexities and show that the run-times of best-case computations can vary exponentially between different existing ASP solvers. Apart from providing a framework for comparing ASP solving approaches, our characterizations also contribute to their understanding by pinning down the constitutive atomic operations. Furthermore, our framework is flexible enough to integrate new inference patterns, and so to study their relation to existing ones. To this end, we generalize our approach and provide an extensible basis aiming at a modular incorporation of additional language constructs. This is exemplified by augmenting our basic tableau methods with cardinality constraints and disjunctions.

Significant inferences
(2000)

We present a general approach for representing and reasoning with sets of defaults in default logic, focusing on reasoning about preferences among sets of defaults. First, we consider how to control the application of a set of defaults so that either all apply (if possible) or none do (if not). From this, an approach to dealing with preferences among sets of default rules is developed. We begin with an ordered default theory, consisting of a standard default theory, but with possible preferences on sets of rules. This theory is transformed into a second, standard default theory wherein the preferences are respected. The approach differs from other work, in that we obtain standard default theories and do not rely on prioritized versions of default logic. In practical terms this means we can immediately use existing default logic theorem provers for an implementation. Also, we directly generate just those extensions containing the most preferred applied rules; in contrast, most previous approaches generate all extensions, then select the most preferred. In a major application of the approach, we show how semimonotonic default theories can be encoded so that reasoning can be carried out at the object level. With this, we can reason about default extensions from within the framework of a standard default logic. Hence one can encode notions such as skeptical and credulous conclusions, and can reason about such conclusions within a single extension

Preferred well-founded semantics for logic programming by alternating fixpoints : preliminary report
(2002)

In this paper, we show how an approach to belief revision and belief contraction can be axiomatized by means of quantified Boolean formulas. Specifically, we consider the approach of belief change scenarios, a general framework that has been introduced for expressing different forms of belief change. The essential idea is that for a belief change scenario (K, R, C), the set of formulas K, representing the knowledge base, is modified so that the sets of formulas R and C are respectively true in, and consistent with the result. By restricting the form of a belief change scenario, one obtains specific belief change operators including belief revision, contraction, update, and merging. For both the general approach and for specific operators, we give a quantified Boolean formula such that satisfying truth assignments to the free variables correspond to belief change extensions in the original approach. Hence, we reduce the problem of determining the results of a belief change operation to that of satisfiability. This approach has several benefits. First, it furnishes an axiomatic specification of belief change with respect to belief change scenarios. This then leads to further insight into the belief change framework. Second, this axiomatization allows us to identify strict complexity bounds for the considered reasoning tasks. Third, we have implemented these different forms of belief change by means of existing solvers for quantified Boolean formulas. As well, it appears that this approach may be straightforwardly applied to other specific approaches to belief change

We present the new multi-threaded version of the state-of-the-art answer set solver clasp. We detail its component and communication architecture and illustrate how they support the principal functionalities of clasp. Also, we provide some insights into the data representation used for different constraint types handled by clasp. All this is accompanied by an extensive experimental analysis of the major features related to multi-threading in clasp.

Answer set programming (ASP) does not allow for incrementally constructing answer sets or locally validating constructions like proofs by only looking at a part of the given program. In this article, we elaborate upon an alternative approach to ASP that allows for incremental constructions. Our approach draws its basic intuitions from the area of default logics. We investigate the feasibility of the concept of semi-monotonicity known from default logics as a basis of incrementality. On the one hand, every logic program has at least one answer set in our alternative setting, which moreover can be constructed incrementally based on generating rules. On the other hand, the approach may produce answer sets lacking characteristic properties of standard answer sets, such as being a model of the given program. We show how integrity constraints can be used to re-establish such properties, even up to correspondence with standard answer sets. Furthermore, we develop an SLD-like proof procedure for our incremental approach to ASP, which allows for query-oriented computations. Also, we provide a characterization of our definition of answer sets via a modification of Clarks completion. Based on this notion of program completion, we present an algorithm for computing the answer sets of a logic program in our approach.

Proposing relevant perturbations to biological signaling networks is central to many problems in biology and medicine because it allows for enabling or disabling certain biological outcomes. In contrast to quantitative methods that permit fine-grained (kinetic) analysis, qualitative approaches allow for addressing large-scale networks. This is accomplished by more abstract representations such as logical networks. We elaborate upon such a qualitative approach aiming at the computation of minimal interventions in logical signaling networks relying on Kleene's three-valued logic and fixpoint semantics. We address this problem within answer set programming and show that it greatly outperforms previous work using dedicated algorithms.

Boolean networks provide a simple yet powerful qualitative modeling approach in systems biology. However, manual identification of logic rules underlying the system being studied is in most cases out of reach. Therefore, automated inference of Boolean logical networks from experimental data is a fundamental question in this field. This paper addresses the problem consisting of learning from a prior knowledge network describing causal interactions and phosphorylation activities at a pseudo-steady state, Boolean logic models of immediate-early response in signaling transduction networks. The underlying optimization problem has been so far addressed through mathematical programming approaches and the use of dedicated genetic algorithms. In a recent work we have shown severe limitations of stochastic approaches in this domain and proposed to use Answer Set Programming (ASP), considering a simpler problem setting. Herein, we extend our previous work in order to consider more realistic biological conditions including numerical datasets, the presence of feedback-loops in the prior knowledge network and the necessity of multi-objective optimization. In order to cope with such extensions, we propose several discretization schemes and elaborate upon our previous ASP encoding. Towards real-world biological data, we evaluate the performance of our approach over in silico numerical datasets based on a real and large-scale prior knowledge network. The correctness of our encoding and discretization schemes are dealt with in Appendices A-B. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Indoor position estimation constitutes a central task in home-based assisted living environments. Such environments often rely on a heterogeneous collection of low-cost sensors whose diversity and lack of precision has to be compensated by advanced techniques for localization and tracking. Although there are well established quantitative methods in robotics and neighboring fields for addressing these problems, they lack advanced knowledge representation and reasoning capacities. Such capabilities are not only useful in dealing with heterogeneous and incomplete information but moreover they allow for a better inclusion of semantic information and more general homecare and patient-related knowledge. We address this problem and investigate how state-of-the-art localization and tracking methods can be combined with Answer Set Programming, as a popular knowledge representation and reasoning formalism. We report upon a case-study and provide a first experimental evaluation of knowledge-based position estimation both in a simulated as well as in a real setting.

The integration of preferences into answer set programming constitutes an important practical device for distinguishing certain preferred answer sets from non-preferred ones. To this end, we elaborate upon rule dependency graphs and their colorings for characterizing different preference handling strategies found in the literature. We start from a characterization of (three types of) preferred answer sets in terms of totally colored dependency graphs. In particular, we demonstrate that this approach allows us to capture all three approaches to preferences in a uniform setting by means of the concept of a height function. In turn, we exemplarily develop an operational characterization of preferred answer sets in terms of operators on partial colorings for one particular strategy. In analogy to the notion of a derivation in proof theory, our operational characterization is expressed as a (non-deterministically formed) sequence of colorings, gradually turning an uncolored graph into a totally colored one

We investigate the usage of rule dependency graphs and their colorings for characterizing and computing answer sets of logic programs. This approach provides us with insights into the interplay between rules when inducing answer sets. We start with different characterizations of answer sets in terms of totally colored dependency graphs that differ ill graph-theoretical aspects. We then develop a series of operational characterizations of answer sets in terms of operators on partial colorings. In analogy to the notion of a derivation in proof theory, our operational characterizations are expressed as (non-deterministically formed) sequences of colorings, turning an uncolored graph into a totally colored one. In this way, we obtain an operational framework in which different combinations of operators result in different formal properties. Among others, we identify the basic strategy employed by the noMoRe system and justify its algorithmic approach. Furthermore, we distinguish operations corresponding to Fitting's operator as well as to well-founded semantics

Reiter's default logic is one of the best known and most studied of the approaches to nonmonotonic reasoning. Several variants of default logic have subsequently been proposed to give systems with properties differing from the original. In this paper, we examine the relationship between default logic and its major variants. We accomplish this by translating a default theory under a variant interpretation into a second default theory, under the original Reiter semantics, wherein the variant interpretation is respected. That is, in each case we show that, given an extension of a translated theory, one may extract an extension of the original variant default logic theory. We show how constrained, rational, justified, and cumulative default logic can be expressed in Reiter's default logic. As well, we show how Reiter's default logic can be expressed in rational default logic. From this, we suggest that any such variant can be similarly treated. Consequently, we provide a unification of default logics, showing how the original formulation of default logic may express its variants. Moreover, the translations clearly express the relationships between alternative approaches to default logic. The translations themselves are shown to generally have good properties. Thus, in at least a theoretical sense, we show that these variants are in a sense superfluous, in that for any of these variants of default logic, we can exactly mimic the behaviour of a variant in standard default logic. As well, the translations lend insight into means of classifying the expressive power of default logic variants; specifically we suggest that the property of semi-monotonicity represents a division with respect to expressibility, whereas regularity and cumulativity do not

We introduce an approach to detecting inconsistencies in large biological networks by using answer set programming. To this end, we build upon a recently proposed notion of consistency between biochemical/genetic reactions and high-throughput profiles of cell activity. We then present an approach based on answer set programming to check the consistency of large-scale data sets. Moreover, we extend this methodology to provide explanations for inconsistencies by determining minimal representations of conflicts. In practice, this can be used to identify unreliable data or to indicate missing reactions.

We introduce an approach to computing answer sets of logic programs, based on concepts successfully applied in Satisfiability (SAT) checking. The idea is to view inferences in Answer Set Programming (ASP) as unit propagation on nogoods. This provides us with a uniform constraint-based framework capturing diverse inferences encountered in ASP solving. Moreover, our approach allows us to apply advanced solving techniques from the area of SAT. As a result, we present the first full-fledged algorithmic framework for native conflict-driven ASP solving. Our approach is implemented in the ASP solver clasp that has demonstrated its competitiveness and versatility by winning first places at various solver contests.

Compressions and extensions
(1998)

Preference handling and optimization are indispensable means for addressing nontrivial applications in Answer Set Programming (ASP). However, their implementation becomes difficult whenever they bring about a significant increase in computational complexity. As a consequence, existing ASP systems do not offer complex optimization capacities, supporting, for instance, inclusion-based minimization or Pareto efficiency. Rather, such complex criteria are typically addressed by resorting to dedicated modeling techniques, like saturation. Unlike the ease of common ASP modeling, however, these techniques are rather involved and hardly usable by ASP laymen. We address this problem by developing a general implementation technique by means of meta-prpogramming, thus reusing existing ASP systems to capture various forms of qualitative preferences among answer sets. In this way, complex preferences and optimization capacities become readily available for ASP applications.

claspfolio 2
(2014)

Building on the award-winning, portfolio-based ASP solver claspfolio, we present claspfolio 2, a modular and open solver architecture that integrates several different portfolio-based algorithm selection approaches and techniques. The claspfolio 2 solver framework supports various feature generators, solver selection approaches, solver portfolios, as well as solver-schedule-based pre-solving techniques. The default configuration of claspfolio 2 relies on a light-weight version of the ASP solver clasp to generate static and dynamic instance features. The flexible open design of claspfolio 2 is a distinguishing factor even beyond ASP. As such, it provides a unique framework for comparing and combining existing portfolio-based algorithm selection approaches and techniques in a single, unified framework. Taking advantage of this, we conducted an extensive experimental study to assess the impact of different feature sets, selection approaches and base solver portfolios. In addition to gaining substantial insights into the utility of the various approaches and techniques, we identified a default configuration of claspfolio 2 that achieves substantial performance gains not only over clasp's default configuration and the earlier version of claspfolio, but also over manually tuned configurations of clasp.

Circumscribing inconsistency
(1997)