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A computational framework for Karl Popper’s logic of scientific discovery

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Belief revision is both a philosophical and logical problem. From Popper’s logic of scientific discovery, we know that revision is ubiquitous in physics and other sciences. The AGM postulates and R-calculus are approaches from logic, where the R-calculus is a Gentzen-type concrete belief revision operator. Because deduction is undecidable in first-order logic, we apply approximate deduction to derive an R-calculus that is computational and has finite injury. We further develop approximation algorithms for SAT problems to derive a feasible R-calculus based on the relation between deduction and satisfiability. In this manner, we provide a full spectrum of belief revision: from philosophical to feasible revision.

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This work was supported by National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (Grant No. 2005CB321901), Open Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Software Development Environment (Grant No. SKLSDE-2010KF-06), and Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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Correspondence to Yuefei Sui.

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Li, W., Sui, Y. A computational framework for Karl Popper’s logic of scientific discovery. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 61, 042101 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9199-8

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  • belief revision
  • logic of scientific discovery
  • approximate deduction
  • approximation algorithms
  • feasible computation