Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 131–158 | Cite as

Epistemic Logic for Rule-Based Agents



The logical omniscience problem, whereby standard models of epistemic logic treat an agent as believing all consequences of its beliefs and knowing whatever follows from what else it knows, has received plenty of attention in the literature. But many attempted solutions focus on a fairly narrow specification of the problem: avoiding the closure of belief or knowledge, rather than showing how the proposed logic is of philosophical interest or of use in computer science or artificial intelligence. Sentential epistemic logics, as opposed to traditional possible worlds approaches, do not suffer from the problems of logical omniscience but are often thought to lack interesting epistemic properties. In this paper, I focus on the case of rule-based agents, which play a key role in contemporary AI research but have been neglected in the logical literature. I develop a framework for modelling monotonic, nonmonotonic and introspective rule-based reasoners which have limited cognitive resources and prove that the resulting models have a number of interesting properties. An axiomatization of the resulting logic is given, together with completeness, decidability and complexity results.


Epistemic logic Doxastic logic Rule-based agents Resource bounds Artificial intelligence Logical omniscience 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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