Formalizing Narratives Using Nested Circumscription

Chitta Baral, Alfredo Gabaldon, Alessandro Provetti

The representation of narratives of actions and observations is a current issue in Knowledge Representation, where traditional plan-oriented treatments of action seem to fall short. To address narratives, Pinto and Reiter have extended Situation Calculus axioms, Kowalski and Sergot have introduced the Event Calculus in Logic Programming, and Baral et al. have defined the specification language C which allows to express actual and hypothetical situations in a uniform setting. The L entailment relation can formalize several forms of reasoning about actions and change. In this paper we illustrate a translation of L theories into Nested Abnormality Theories, a novel form of circumscription. The proof of soundness and completeness of the translation is the main technical result of the paper, but attention is also devoted to the features of Nested Abnormality Theories to capture commonsense reasoning in general and to clarify which assumptions a logical formalization forces upon a domain. These results also help clarifying the relationship between L and other recent circumscriptive formalizations for narratives, such as Miller and Shanahan’s.

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