A Generalised Approach for Encoding and Reasoning with Qualitative Theories in Answer Set Programming

George Baryannis, Ilias Tachmazidis, Sotiris Batsakis, Grigoris Antoniou, Mario Alviano, Emmanuel Papadakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Qualitative reasoning involves expressing and deriving knowledge based on qualitative terms such as natural language expressions, rather than strict mathematical quantities. Well over 40 qualitative calculi have been proposed so far, mostly in the spatial and temporal domains, with several practical applications such as naval traffic monitoring, warehouse process optimisation and robot manipulation. Even if a number of specialised qualitative reasoning tools have been developed so far, an important barrier to the wider adoption of these tools is that only qualitative reasoning is supported natively, when real-world problems most often require a combination of qualitative and other forms of reasoning. In this work, we propose to overcome this barrier by using ASP as a unifying formalism to tackle problems that require qualitative reasoning in addition to non-qualitative reasoning. A family of ASP encodings is proposed which can handle any qualitative
calculus with binary relations. These encodings are experimentally evaluated using a real-world dataset based on a case study of determining optimal coverage of telecommunication antennas, and compared with the performance of two well-known dedicated reasoners. Experimental results show that the proposed encodings outperform one of the two reasoners, but fall behind the other, an acceptable trade-off given the added benefits of handling any type of reasoning as well as the interpretability of logic programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-702
Number of pages16
JournalTheory and Practice of Logic Programming
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
Event36th International Conference on Logic Programming - Held virtually due to COVID-19, was due to take place in Rende, Italy
Duration: 18 Sep 202025 Sep 2020
Conference number: 36


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