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Temporal Logic Semantics for Teleo-Reactive Robotic Agent Programs

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNPSE,volume 12232)


Teleo-Reactive (TR) robotic agent programs comprise sequences of guarded action rules clustered into named parameterised procedures. Their ancestry goes back to the first cognitive robot, Shakey. Like Shakey, a TR programmed robotic agent has a deductive Belief Store comprising constantly changing predicate logic percept facts, and knowledge facts and rules for querying the percepts. In this paper we introduce TR programming using a simple example expressed in the teleo-reactive programming language TeleoR, which is a syntactic extension of QuLog, a typed logic programming language used for the agent’s Belief Store. We give a formal definition of the regression property that rules of TeleoR procedures should satisfy, and an informal operational semantics of the evaluation of a TeleoR procedure call. We then formally express key features of the evaluation in LTL. Finally we show how this LTL formalisation can be used to prove that a procedure’s rules satisfy the regression property by proving it holds for one rule of the example TeleoR program. The proof requires us: to formally link a TeleoR agent’s percept beliefs with sensed configurations of the external environment; to link the agent’s robotic device action intentions with actual robot actions; to specify the eventual physical effects of the robot’s actions on the environment state.

Dongol is supported by EPSRC Grants EP/R019045/2, EP/R032556/1 and EP/R025134/2.

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  1. 1.

    QuLog actually has another rule type, imperative action rules for defining multi-threaded agent behaviour. They can call primitive actions for forking threads, updating Belief Store facts and message communication. The two thread architecture is implemented using these action rules.

  2. 2.

    Of course, in reality, there are environments that could impede a robot’s motion—we do not make any claims about correctness of our implementation for such environments. In a full development, one would need to make sure that the physical environment in which a verified robot operates does indeed conform to any assumptions made in the proof.


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We thank our anonymous FMAS reviewers for their careful readings of this paper and comments, which have helped improve quality overall.

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Correspondence to Brijesh Dongol .

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Clark, K., Dongol, B., Robinson, P. (2020). Temporal Logic Semantics for Teleo-Reactive Robotic Agent Programs. In: , et al. Formal Methods. FM 2019 International Workshops. FM 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12232. Springer, Cham.

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