Situation Awareness (SA) is the problem of comprehending elements of an environment within a volume of time and space. It is a crucial factor in decision-making in dynamic environments. Current SA systems support the collection, filtering and presentation of data from different sources very well, and typically also some form of low-level data fusion and analysis, e.g., recognizing patterns over time. However, a still open research challenge is to build systems that support higher-level information fusion, viz., to integrate domain specific knowledge and automatically draw conclusions that would otherwise remain hidden or would have to be drawn by a human operator. To address this challenge, we have developed a novel system architecture that emphasizes the role of formal logic and automated theorem provers in its main components. Additionally, it features controlled natural language for operator I/O. It offers three logical languages to adequately model different aspects of the domain. This allows to build SA systems in a more declarative way than is possible with current approaches. From an automated reasoning perspective, the main challenges lay in combining (existing) automated reasoning techniques, from low-level data fusion of time-stamped data to semantic analysis and alert generation that is based on linear temporal logic. The system has been implemented and interfaces with Google-Earth to visualize the dynamics of situations and system output. It has been successfully tested on realistic data, but in this paper we focus on the system architecture and in particular on the interplay of the different reasoning components.
Recent years have seen considerable interest in procedures for computing finite models of first-order logic specifications. One of the major paradigms, MACE-style model building, is based on reducing model search to a sequence of propositional satisfiability problems and applying (efficient) SAT solvers to them. A problem with this method is that it does not scale well because the propositional formulas to be considered may become very large.
We propose instead to reduce model search to a sequence of satisfiability problems consisting of function-free first-order clause sets, and to apply (efficient) theorem provers capable of deciding such problems. The main appeal of this method is that first-order clause sets grow more slowly than their propositional counterparts, thus allowing for more space efficient reasoning.
In this paper we describe our proposed reduction in detail and discuss how it is integrated into the Darwin prover, our implementation of the Model Evolution calculus. The results are general, however, as our approach can be used in principle with any system that decides the satisfiability of function-free first-order clause sets.
To demonstrate its practical feasibility, we tested our approach on all satisfiable problems from the TPTP library. Our methods can solve a significant subset of these problems, which overlaps but is not included in the subset of problems solvable by state-of-the-art finite model builders such as Paradox and Mace4.
Cadoli et. al. noted the potential of first order automated reasoning for the purpose of analysing constraint models, and reported some encouraging initial experimental results. We are currently pursuing a very similar research program with a view to incorporating deductive technology in a state of the art constraint programming platform. Here we outline our own view of this application direction and discuss new empirical findings on a more extensive range of problems than those considered in the previous literature. While the opportunities presented by reasoning about constraint models are indeed exciting, we also find that there are formidable obstacles in the way of a practicaly useful implementation.
We present a new calculus for first-order theorem proving with equality, MESUP, which generalizes both the Superposition calculus and the Model Evolution calculus (with equality) by integrating their inference rules and redundancy criteria in a non-trivial way. The main motivation is to combine the advantageous features of both - rather complementary - calculi in a single framework. For instance, Model Evolution, as a lifted version of the propositional DPLL procedure, contributes a non-ground splitting rule that effectively permits to split a clause into non variable disjoint subclauses. In the paper we present the calculus in detail. Our main result is its completeness under semantically justified redundancy criteria and simplification rules.