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

  • Wei Li
  • Yuefei Sui
Research Paper


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.


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



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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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Software Development EnvironmentBeihang UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Intelligent Information Processing, Institute of Computing TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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