Characterizing and extending answer set semantics using possibility theory

Kim Bauters, Universiteit Gent
Steven Schockaert, Cardiff University
Martine De Cock, Universiteit Gent
Dirk Vermeir, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Answer Set Programming (ASP) is a popular framework for modeling combinatorial problems. However, ASP cannot easily be used for reasoning about uncertain information. Possibilistic ASP (PASP) is an extension of ASP that combines possibilistic logic and ASP. In PASP a weight is associated with each rule, where this weight is interpreted as the certainty with which the conclusion can be established when the body is known to hold. As such, it allows us to model and reason about uncertain information in an intuitive way. In this paper we present new semantics for PASP, in which rules are interpreted as constraints on possibility distributions. Special models of these constraints are then identified as possibilistic answer sets. In addition, since ASP is a special case of PASP in which all the rules are entirely certain, we obtain a new characterization of ASP in terms of constraints on possibility distributions. This allows us to uncover a new form of disjunction, called weak disjunction, that has not been previously considered in the literature. In addition to introducing and motivating the semantics of weak disjunction, we also pinpoint its computational complexity. In particular, while the complexity of most reasoning tasks coincides with standard disjunctive ASP, we find that brave reasoning for programs with weak disjunctions is easier.

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