Belief Revision, Conditional Logic and Nonmonotonic Reasoning

Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 36 (1):55-103 (1995)
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Abstract

We consider the connections between belief revision, conditional logic and nonmonotonic reasoning, using as a foundation the approach to theory change developed by Alchourrón, Gärdenfors and Makinson (the AGM approach). This is first generalized to allow the iteration of theory change operations to capture the dynamics of epistemic states according to a principle of minimal change of entrenchment. The iterative operations of expansion, contraction and revision are characterized both by a set of postulates and by Grove's construction based on total pre-orders on the set of complete theories of the belief logic. We present a sound and complete conditional logic whose semantics is based on our iterative revision operation, but which avoids Gärdenfors's triviality result because of a severely restricted language of beliefs and hence the weakened scope of our extended postulates. In the second part of the paper, we develop a computational approach to theory dynamics using Rott's E-bases as a representation for epistemic states. Under this approach, a ranked E-base is interpreted as standing for the most conservative entrenchment compatible with the base, reflecting a kind of foundationalism in the acceptance of evidence for a belief. Algorithms for the computation of our iterative versions of expansion, contraction and revision are presented. Finally, we consider the relationship between nonmonotonic reasoning and both conditional logic and belief revision. Adapting the approach of Delgrande, we show that the unique extension of a default theory expressed in our conditional logic of belief revision corresponds to the most conservative belief state which respects the theory: however, this correspondence is limited to propositional default theories. Considering first order default theories, we present a belief revision algorithm which incorporates the assumption of independence of default instances and propose the use of a base logic for default reasoning which incorporates uniqueness of names. We conclude with an examination of the behavior of an implemented system on some of Lifschitz's benchmark problems in nonmonotonic reasoning

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References found in this work

A Theory of Conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1968 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Studies in Logical Theory. Oxford,: Blackwell. pp. 98-112.
Two modellings for theory change.Adam Grove - 1988 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 17 (2):157-170.

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