Practical Methods for Proving Termination of General Logic Programs

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Termination of logic programs with negated body atoms (here called general logic programs) is an important topic. One reason is that many computational mechanisms used to process negated atoms, like Clark's negation as failure and Chan's constructive negation, are based on termination conditions. This paper introduces a methodology for proving termination of general logic programs w.r.t. the Prolog selection rule. The idea is to distinguish parts of the program depending on whether or not their termination depends on the selection rule. To this end, the notions of low-, weakly up-, and up-acceptable program are introduced. We use these notions to develop a methodology for proving termination of general logic programs, and show how interesting problems in non-monotonic reasoning can be formalized and implemented by means of terminating general logic programs.

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