Reasoning about Conditions and Exceptions to Laws in Regulatory Conformance Checking

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This paper considers the problem of checking whether an organization conforms to a body of regulation. Conformance is cast as a trace checking question – the regulation is represented in a logic that is evaluated against an abstract trace or run representing the operations of an organization. We focus on a problem in designing a logic to represent regulation.

A common phenomenon in regulatory texts is for sentences to refer to others for conditions or exceptions. We motivate the need for a formal representation of regulation to accomodate such references between statements. We then extend linear temporal logic to allow statements to refer to others. The semantics of the resulting logic is defined via a combination of techniques from Reiter’s default logic and Kripke’s theory of truth.

This research was supported in part by NSF CCF-0429948, NSF-CNS-0610297, ARO W911NF-05-1-0158, and ONR MURI N00014-07-1-0907.