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Terminological Reasoning with Constraint Handling Rules

Philipp Hanschke; Thom Frühwirth
DFKI, DFKI Documents (D), Vol. 93-01, 1993.


Constraint handling rules (CHRs) are a flexible means to implement 'user-defined' constraints on top of existing host languages (like Prolog and Lisp).Recently, M. Schmidt-Schauß and G. Smolka proposed a new methodology for constructing sound and complete inference algorithms for terminological knowledge representation formalisms in the tradition of KL-ONE. We propose CHRs as a flexible implementation language for the consistency test of assertions, which is the basis for all terminological reasoning services. The implementation results in a natural combination of three layers: (1) a constraint layer that reasons in wellunderstood domains such as rationals or finite domains, (2) a terminological layer providing a tailored, validated vocabulary on which (3) the application layer can rely. The flexibility of the approach will be illustrated by extending the formalism, its implementation and an application example (solving configuration problems) with attributes, a new quantifier and concrete domains.