Pac-learning Recursive Logic Programs: Negative Results

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In a companion paper it was shown that the class of constant-depth determinate k-ary recursive clauses is efficiently learnable. In this paper we present negative results showing that any natural generalization of this class is hard to learn in Valiant's model of pac-learnability. In particular, we show that the following program classes are cryptographically hard to learn: programs with an unbounded number of constant-depth linear recursive clauses; programs with one constant-depth determinate clause containing an unbounded number of recursive calls; and programs with one linear recursive clause of constant locality. These results immediately imply the non-learnability of any more general class of programs. We also show that learning a constant-depth determinate program with either two linear recursive clauses or one linear recursive clause and one non-recursive clause is as hard as learning boolean DNF. Together with positive results from the companion paper, these negative results establish a boundary of efficient learnability for recursive function-free clauses.

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