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Horn Clause Contraction Functions: Belief Set and Belief Base Approaches

Last modified: 2010-04-27

#### Abstract

Standard approachs to belief change assume that the underlying logic contains classical propositional logic. Recently there has been interest in investigating approaches to belief change, specifically contraction, in which the underlying logic is not as expressive as full propositional logic. In this paper we consider approaches to belief contraction in Horn knowledge bases. We develop two broad approaches for Horn contraction, corresponding to the two major approaches in belief change, based on Horn belief sets and Horn belief bases. We argue that previous approaches, which have taken Horn remainder sets as a starting point, have undesirable properties, and moreover that not all desirable Horn contraction functions are captured by these approaches. This is shown in part by examining model-theoretic considerations involving Horn contraction. For Horn belief set contraction, we develop an account based in terms of weak remainder sets. Maxichoice and partial meet Horn contraction is specified, along with a consideration of package contraction. Following this we consider Horn belief base contraction, in which the underlying knowledge base is not necessarily closed under the Horn consequence relation. Again, approaches to maxichoice and partial meet belief set contraction are developed. In all cases, constructions of the specific operators and sets of postulates are provided, and representation results are obtained. As well, we show that problems arising with earlier work are resolved by these approaches.

#### Keywords

belief change, belief contraction, Horn clause theories

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