Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota


  • Amanda Clare
  • Martin Swain
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_618


Prolog is a programming language that allows the user to program in a style that approximates first-order predicate logic. Its characteristics are that it is a high-level, weakly typed,  declarative language, which makes use of backtracking, negation by failure, variable unification, and a user-defined database of rules and facts. Its declarative, rule-based nature has made it of interest to the systems biology modeling community.


History and Availability

Prolog was developed in the 1970s but still remains in widespread use today. Many of the best known applications of Prolog have been in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI),  knowledge-based systems, and  knowledge representation, and have built on the strengths of the language as an easy to query database system. However, Prolog is also a general-purpose high-level programming language, and its use is not restricted to these areas. Many free or commercial implementations of Prolog compilers are in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAberystwyth UniversityAberystwythUK
  2. 2.Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural SciencesAberystwyth UniversityAberystwythUK