Inheritance in Rule-Based Frame Systems: Semantics and Inference

  • Guizhen Yang
  • Michael Kifer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4244)


Knowledge representation languages that combine rules with object-oriented features akin to frame systems have recently attracted a lot of research interest, and F-logic is widely seen as a basis to achieve this integration. In this paper we extend the original F-logic formalism with an array of salient features that are essential for representing and reasoning with commonsense knowledge. In particular, we extend the syntax and semantics of F-logic to incorporate nonmonotonic multiple inheritance of class and instance methods in the presentence of class hierarchies defined via rules. The new semantics is completely model-theoretic and is free of the defects that caused the original F-logic to produce unintuitive results due to the unusual interaction between default inheritance and inference via rules. Moreover, we provide a computational framework for the new F-logic semantics which can be implemented by inference engines using either forward or backward chaining mechanisms.


Object Model Class Hierarchy Instance Method Truth Valuation Multiple Inheritance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abiteboul, S., Lausen, G., Uphoff, H., Waller, E.: Methods and rules. In: ACM International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD) (1993)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Angele, J., Mönch, E., Oppermann, H., Staab, S., Wenke, D.: Ontology-based query and answering in chemistry: OntoNova @ Project Halo. In: Fensel, D., Sycara, K.P., Mylopoulos, J. (eds.) ISWC 2003. LNCS, vol. 2870, pp. 913–928. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berardi, D., Boley, H., Grosof, B., Gruninger, M., Hull, R., Kifer, M., Martin, D., McIlraith, S., Su, J., Tabet, S.: SWSL: Semantic Web Services Language. Technical report, Semantic Web Services Initiative (April 2005),
  4. 4.
    Bonner, A.J., Kifer, M.: An overview of transaction logic. Theoretical Computer Science 133(2), 205–265 (1994)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bugliesi, M., Jamil, H.M.: A stable model semantics for behavioral inheritance in deductive object oriented languages. In: International Conference on Database Theory (ICDT), pp. 222–237 (1995)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen, W., Kifer, M., Warren, D.S.: HiLog: A foundation for higher-order logic programming. Journal of Logic Programming (JLP) 15(3), 187–230 (1993)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen, W., Warren, D.S.: Tabled evaluation with delaying for general logic programs. Journal of the ACM (JACM) 43(1), 20–74 (1996)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    de Bruijn, J., Lausen, H., Krummenacher, R., Polleres, A., Predoiu, L., Fensel, D.: The WSML family of representation languages. Technical report, DERI (March 2005),
  9. 9.
    Decker, S., Brickley, D., Saarela, J., Angele, J.: A query and inference service for RDF. In: QL 1998 - The Query Languages Workshop (December 1998)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Decker, S., Erdmann, M., Fensel, D., Studer, R.: Ontobroker: Ontology based access to distributed and semi-structured information. In: Meersman, R. (ed.) Database Semantics, Semantic Issues in Multimedia Systems, pp. 351–369. Kluwer Academic Publisher, Boston (1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dobbie, G.: Foundations of deductive object-oriented database systems. Technical Report CS-TR-96/13, Department of Computer Science, Victoria University (1996),
  12. 12.
    Dobbie, G., Topor, R.: Resolving ambiguities caused by multiple inheritance. In: Ling, T.-W., Vieille, L., Mendelzon, A.O. (eds.) DOOD 1995. LNCS, vol. 1013, pp. 265–280. Springer, Heidelberg (1995)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    DSTC, IBM, and CBOP. MOF Query/Views/Transformations. Technical report, Object Management Group (OMG) (2003),
  14. 14.
    Frohn, J., Himmeröder, R., Lausen, G., May, W., Schlepphorst, C.: Managing semistructured data with FLORID: A deductive object-oriented perspective. Information Systems 23(8), 589–613 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gelder, A.V., Ross, K., Schlipf, J.S.: The well-founded semantics for general logic programs. Journal of the ACM (JACM) 38(3), 620–650 (1991)MATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gelfond, M., Lifschitz, V.: The stable model semantics for logic programming. In: International Conference on Logic Programming (ICLP) (1988)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gerber, A., Lawley, M., Raymond, K., Steel, J., Wood, A.: Transformation: The missing link of MDA. In: Corradini, A., Ehrig, H., Kreowski, H.-J., Rozenberg, G. (eds.) ICGT 2002. LNCS, vol. 2505, pp. 90–105. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jajodia, S., Samarati, P., Sapino, M.L., Subrahmanian, V.S.: Flexible support for multiple access control policies. ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) 26(2), 214–260 (2001)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jamil, H.M.: Implementing abstract objects with inheritance in Datalogneg. In: International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB), pp. 46–65. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (1997)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jamil, H.M.: A logic-based language for parametric inheritance. In: International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR) (2000)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kifer, M., Lausen, G.: F-Logic: A higher-order language for reasoning about objects, inheritance and schema. In: ACM International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), pp. 134–146. ACM Press, New York (1989)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kifer, M., Lausen, G., Wu, J.: Logical foundations of object-oriented and frame-based languages. Journal of the ACM (JACM) 42(4), 741–843 (1995)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kim, W., Lochovsky, F.H. (eds.): Object-Oriented Concepts, Databases, and Applications. ACM Press and Addison-Wesley (1989)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Krishnan, R.: Disruption tolerant networking: SPINDLE project. Technical report, The Internet Engineering Task Force (2006)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Laenens, E., Vermeir, D.: A fixpoint semantics for Ordered Logic. Journal of Logic and Computation 1(2), 159–185 (1990)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lakshmanan, L.V.S., Thirunarayan, K.: Declarative frameworks for inheritance. In: Chomicki, J., Saake, G. (eds.) Logics for Databases and Information Systems, pp. 357–388. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1998)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Liu, M., Dobbie, G., Ling, T.: A logical foundation for deductive object-oriented databases. ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) 27(1), 117–151 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lloyd, J.W.: Foundations of Logic Programming. Springer, Heidelberg (1984)MATHGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Magkanaraki, A., Alexaki, S., Christophides, V., Plexousakis, D.: Benchmarking RDF Schemas for the Semantic Web. In: International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), pp. 132–146. Springer, London (2002)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    May, W.: A Rule-Based Querying and Updating Language for XML. In: Ghelli, G., Grahne, G. (eds.) DBPL 2001. LNCS, vol. 2397, pp. 165–181. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    May, W., Kandzia, P.-T.: Nonmonotonic inheritance in object-oriented deductive database languages. Journal of Logic and Computation 11(4), 499–525 (2001)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    May, W., Ludäscher, B., Lausen, G.: Well-founded semantics for deductive object-oriented database languages. In: Bry, F., Ramamohanarao, K. (eds.) DOOD 1997. LNCS, vol. 1341, pp. 320–336. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ontoprise, GmbH. Ontobroker,
  34. 34.
    Przymusinski, T.C.: Every logic program has a natural stratification and an iterated least fixed point model. In: ACM International Symposium on Principles of Database Systems (PODS), pp. 11–21. ACM Press, New York (1989)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Przymusinski, T.C.: The well-founded semantics coincides with the three-valued stable semantics. Fundamenta Informaticae 13(4), 445–464 (1990)MATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rabitti, F., Bertino, E., Kim, W., Woelk, D.: A model of authorization for next-generation database systems. ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) 16(1), 88–131 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Reiter, R.: A logic for default reasoning. Artificial Intelligence 13(1–2), 81–132 (1980)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Rule Interchange Format. W3C Working Group (2005),
  39. 39.
    Schnurr, H.-P., Angele, J.: Do not use this gear with a switching lever! Automotive industry experience with Semantic Guides. In: International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), pp. 1029–1040 (2005)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sintek, M., Decker, S.: TRIPLE – A query, inference, and transformation language for the semantic Web. In: International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), pp. 364–378. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Touretzky, D.S.: The Mathematics of Inheritance. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (1986)MATHGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Van Gelder, A.: The alternating fixpoint of logic programs with negation. Journal of Computer and System Sciences 47(1), 185–221 (1993)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Vardi, M.: The complexity of relational query languages. In: ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), pp. 137–146. ACM Press, New York (1982)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Yang, G., Kifer, M.: Implementing an efficient DOOD system using a tabling logic engine. In: CL 2000. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 1861, pp. 1078–1083. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Yang, G., Kifer, M.: Well-founded optimism: Inheritance in frame-based knowledge bases. In: International Conference on Ontologies, Databases, and Applications of Semantics (ODBASE), pp. 1013–1032. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Yang, G., Kifer, M., Zhao, C.: Flora-2: User’s Manual (June 2005),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guizhen Yang
    • 1
  • Michael Kifer
    • 2
  1. 1.Artificial Intelligence Center, SRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations