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ResolvingInconsistenciesbyVariableForgettin
JeromeLan
IRIT/UniversitePaulSabatier 118routedeNarbonne 31602Toulouse-Franc
lang@irit.fr 
PierreMarqui
CRIL/Universited'Artoiruedel'Universite-S.P.16 62307Lens-Franc
marquis@cril.univ-artois.fr 
Abstrac
Inthispaper,afairlygeneralframeworkfor reasoningfrominconsistentpropositionalbe- liefbasesisdened.Variableforgettingiusedasabasicoperationforweakeningbeliefssoastorestoreconsistency.Thekenotionisthatof 
recoveries 
,whicharesetofvariableswhoseforgettingenablesrestoringconsistency.Severalcriteriafordening preferredrecoveriesareproposed,depending onwhetherthefocusislaidontherelative relevanceofthevariablesortherelativeen- trenchmentofthepiecesofinformation(or both).Ourframeworkencompassesseveral previousapproachesasspeciccases,includingreasoningfrompreferredconsistentsubsets,andsomeformsofinformationmerging andbeliefrevision.Interestingly,thegaiinexibilityandgeneralityoeredbyour frameworkdoesnotimplyacomplexityshifcomparedtothesespeciccases.
1INTRODUCTION 
Nontrivialprocessingofinconsistentsetsofformulasianimportanttopicinarticialintelligence.Boththe complexityoftheproblemanditssignicancearereectedbythenumberofapproachestoparaconsistent reasoningthatcanbefoundintheliteratureundervariousnames,likeparaconsistentlogics,beliefrevision,argumentativeinference,informationmerging,model tting,arbitration,knowledgeintegration,knowledge purication,etc.Correspondingtotheseapproachesaremanydierentmechanismstoavoidtrivialization.Forinstance,inconsistencycanberemovedbyidentifyingwrong piecesofinformationthroughknowledge-gatheringac- tions(see 
e.g. 
 LangandMarquis,200] Liberatore andDonini,2000 ]).Inconsistencycanalsobedealwith.Inthiscase,trivializationisavoidedbyweaken- ingthesetofconsequencesthatcanbederivedfrom thebeliefbase;thiscanbeachievedeitherbycon- sideringan 
approximationbybelowofclassicalentailment 
(likeinmanyparaconsistentlogics,see  BesnarandHunter,1998 ] Hunter,1998 ]forasurvey)orby 
weakeningtheinputbeliefbasewhilekeepingclassicalentailment 
.Thislasttechniqueisatworkinso- calledcoherence-basedapproachestoparaconsistent inference(see 
e.g. 
 RescherandManor,1970 ] Fagi
etal
,1983 ] Ginsberg,1986 ] Brewka,1989 ], Baral 
etal
,1991 ] PinkasandLoui,1992 ] Benferha
etal
,1993 ]),aswellasinbeliefmerging(se
e.g. 
 Libera- toreandSchaerf,1998 ] Revesz,1997 ] Koniecznyand PinoPerez,1998 ] LinandMendelzon,1999 ]).Whilesomeoftheseapproachestakeaccountforthe relativeimportanceofpiecesofinformation,theydo nothandletherelativeimportanceof 
variables 
inthe problemathand.Thisisproblematicinmanysitua- tionswheresomevariablesarelesscentralthanothers,especiallywhensomevariablesaremeaningfulonlyithepresenceofothers.Thus,itmakesnosensetorea- sonaboutwhetherJohn'scarisgreyifthereissomstrongconictaboutwhetherJohnactuall
ha
acar.Inordertoaddressthisissue,wedeneinthefollowinganewframeworkforreasoningfrominconsistent propositionalbeliefbases,usin
variableforgettin
asbasicoperationforweakeningbeliefs.Beliefbasesarviewedas(nite)vectorsofformulas,conjunctivelyinterpreted.W.l.o.g.,eachformulaisassumedtobeissuedfromaspecicsourceofinformation.Thekenotionofourapproachisthato
recoveries 
,whicaresetsofvariableswhoseforgettingenablesrestoringconsistency.Severalcriteriafordeningpreferred recoveriesareproposed,dependingonwhetherthefo- cusislaidontherelativerelevanceofthevariablesor therelativeentrenchmentofthepiecesofinformation 
 
(orboth).Ourframeworkoersseveraladvantagecomparedwithmanyexistingapproachestoparacon- sistentreasoning.Firstofall,itisquitegeneral andexible.Especially,itenablestomodelsituationwheresomesourcesofinformationareconsideredmorreliablethanothersinanabsoluteway,butalsorelativelytosometopicsofinterest.Equitybetweesomesourcesofinformationcanalsobeachievedby imposingtoforgetthesamevariablesinthesources.Accordingly,ourframeworkencompassesseveralpreviousapproachesasspeciccases,includingreasoning frompreferredconsistentsubsets,andformsofinformationmergingandbeliefrevision.Interestingly,the gainingeneralityandexibilityoeredbyourframeworkdoesnotimplyacomplexityshiftcomparedwitthesespeciccases.Therestofthispaperisorganizedasfollows.Formal preliminariesincludingapresentationofforgettingare giveninSection2.OurframeworkispresentedinSection3.ComputationalissuesarediscussedinSection 4.Section5concludesthepaper.Proofsketchescan befoundinanappendix.
2FORMALPRELIMINARIE
2.1PROPOSITIONALLOGI
PROP 
P
denotesthepropositionallanguagebuiltup fromanitese
P
ofsymbols,theBooleanconstant
(true)and 
(false),andtheusualconnectives.
Va
 
)denotethesetofpropositionalvariablesoc- curringintheformul
 
.
 
 
(resp.
 
 
)denotetheformulaobtainedbyreplacingi
 
everyoccur- renceofvariabl
b
(resp.
).Aninterpretation 
isanassignmentofatruthvalue toeachvariableof 
P
.=
P
isthesetofallinterpretations.Formulasareinterpretedintheclassical way.Everynitesetofformulasisinterpretedcon-  junctively.
Mo
 
)denotesthesetofmodelsof 
 
.Finally,
an
beingtwointerpretations,
Diff 
!;
isthesetofpropositionalvariablesassigneddierent truthvaluesby 
an
.
2.2FORGETTIN
Ourapproachtorestoreconsistencyisbasedon 
variableforgettin
,alsoknownasprojectionormarginalization.Variableforgettingcanbedenedasfollow(see  LinandReiter,199] LangandMarquis,1998 ]formoredetails):
Denition1(forgetting
Le
 
beaformulafrom 
PROP 
P
an
 
P
.Th
forgettin
o
i
 
,note
V: 
,isaquantiedbooleanformulaove
P
,equivalenttoaformulafrom 
PROP 
P
thatcanbein- ductivelydenedasfollows
9
: 
 
 
9
: 
 
 
 
 
 
g 
: 
V:
9
: 
Forexample,
9
:
 
an
9
:
.
V: 
representsthelogicallystrongestconsequence 
 
o
 
thatisindependentof 
,whichmeansthattherexistsaformul
 
fro
PROP 
P
s.t.
 
 
 
an
Va
 
.Accordingly,forgettingasetofvariableswithinaformulaleadst
weake
it.Tobemorprecise,i
 
holds,then 
V: 
j
W: 
holds.Moreover,
 
isconsistentifandonlyi
Va
 
: 
ivalid(see  LangandMarquis,1998 ]).Manycharacterizationsofvariableforgetting,together withcomplexityresults,arereportedi Lang 
etal
,2001 ].Forinstance,forever
 
P
andeveryformul
 
,weclearlyhav
V: 
 
: 
,wher
 
Va
 
).
3REASONINGFROM PREFERREDRECOVERIES 
3.1BELIEFBASESANDRECOVERIE
Letusrstmakeprecisethebeliefbasesweareinterestedin.
Denition2(beliefbase) 
beliefbase 
isvector 
 
;:::; 
o
formulasfrom 
PROP 
P
,wher
isapositiveinteger. 
 
;:::; 
isconjunctivelyinterpreted,sothat itissaidtobe 
inconsisten
ifandonlyi
 
;:::; 
isinconsistent.Each 
(
 
 
)identiesasourceof informationan
 
denotesthepieceofbeliefconveyed bysourc
.Notethatitcanbethecasethataformuloccursmorethanoncei
,whichcanbeusedtmodelthesituationwheretwodierentsources(or more)givethesameinformation.Thekeynotionsofourapproachar
forgettingvectors 
an
recoveries 
.Aforgettingvectorconsistsofacollectionofsetsofvariablestobeforgottenineachformulfromthebeliefbase.Thesesetsofvariablesneednot beidentical,buttheyshouldobeysomeconstraintbearingontheforgettingprocess:
Denition3(forgettingcontext
forgettincontext 
forabeliefbas
 
;:::; 
isatripl
F;G;
where: 
 
 
=
:::n 
where,foreach 
,
 
P
isthe setofvariablesthatcanbeforgotteni
 
i.e.
,variablesi
P
mustnotbeforgotteni
 
)
 
=
:::n 
where,foreach 
,
isadirected graphon 
;anar
v;
i
meanstha
imeaningfulonlyinthepresenceof 
,
i.e.
,thati
isforgotteni
 
the
mustbeforgottenas welli
 
 
 
P
:::n 
g
:::n 
isasetoftriples 
v;i;j 
wher
an
6
,meaningthat i
isforgotteni
 
,thenitmustbeforgottenas welli
 
,
an
imposesomeconstraintsoverthewaythe piecesofbelief 
 
fro
canbeweakened.Thus,i
6
,forgettin
i
 
isforbidden.Thisishelpful tomodelthesituationwheresourc
isfullyreliabltowhatconcerns 
,
i.e
,wha
saysabout 
mustbe takenforsure.
enablestoexpressthatvariablescan besignicantonlyinpresenceofotherssoforgetting thelatterimposestoforgettheformer.Finally,
canbeusedtoforcesomesourcesofinformationtbeconsideredonequaltermsw.r.t.weakening.For instance,i
 
an
 
aretogetherinconsistentand consistencycanberecoveredbyforgetting 
i
 
,then itcouldbeexpectedthat 
shouldalsobeforgotteni
 
.
Example
(inspiredfrom  KoniecznyandPino Perez,1998 ).Asamatterofillustration,letuscon- siderthefollowingpreferencemergingscenario.Sup- posethatagroupoffourco-ownersofaresidencetries toagreeaboutbuildinganewtenniscour
and/ornewswimmingpoo
.Ifitisconstructed,theswimmingpoolcanbeeitherred
)orblue
).Ifbotatenniscourtandapool{respectively,oneofthem,noneofthem{are(is)constructed,theinducedcosti2moneyunits
){respectively,1unit
),nothin
).Therstco-ownerwouldnotliketospendmorthan1unit,andprefersaredswimmingpool,shouldibeconstructed.Thesecondco-ownerwouldliketoimprovethequalityoftheresidencebytheconstructionof atleastatenniscourtoraswimmingpoolandwoulpreferablueswimmingpool,shoulditbeconstructed. Thethirdco-ownerjustprefersaswimmingpooltobbuilt,whateveritscolour.Thefourthco-ownerwoullikebothaswimmingpool(ofwhatevercolour)andtenniscourttobebuiltOfcourse,ifthereisnoagreementaboutwhetherthe swimmingpoolistobeconstructed,anypreferencconcerningitscolourmustbeignored.Furthermore,iismeaninglessforgettingaboutwhetherthepoolshoulbebluewithoutforgettingwhetheritshouldbered:eitherweforgetaboutthecolouroftheswimmingpool ornot.Similarly,eitherweforgetabouttheexpenses,i.e.,weforget 
;
;
ornot(i.e.,weforgetnone ofthem)Clearlyenough,thepreferencesofthegrouparjointlyinconsistent.Thisscenariocanbeencodediourframeworkusingthefollowingbeliefbas
 
; 
; 
; 
; 
andforgettingcontext 
 
 
=
 
)
)
^
)
 
)
^
)
 
 
=
 
 
=
 
 
 
 
 
,
s;t;s 
;
;
;
;
 
,
s;
;
s;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
 
Giventha
,
 
expressestheintegrityconstraintaccordingtowhichtheswimmingpoolmusbeeitherredorblueifitisconstructed,aswelasthelogicaldenitionoftheinducedpricefrom thenumberofequipmentsbuilt
 
(resp. 
 
,
 
,
 
)encodesthepreferencesoftheco-owners
(
ensuresthat 
an
areir- relevantifthereisnoagreementon 
,that 
isirrele- vantifandonlyi
is,andthatforany 
i;
2
;
;
,
isirrelevantifandonlyi
is.Inthesituationwhereallco-ownersmustbeconsideredonequal termsw.r.t.thesetofvariablestobeforgotten,
mustbechangedt
;
g
;
;
;
g
;
;
;
 
;
;
g
;
;
;
g
;
;
;
Asexpected,ourdenitionisverygeneralandmany dierentforgettingcontextscanbeconsidered.Isomesituations,thevariablesforgottenineachofthe piecesofinformationmustbeidenticalsothatalsourcesofinformationareconsideredonequalterms.Thiscanbecapturedbyconsidering 
homogeneous 
con- texts,whereaforgettingcontext 
F;G;
fo
 
;:::; 
issaidtobehomogeneousifanonlyifforever
,
:::n 
,wehav
an
,an
P
:::n 
g
:::n 
.Asimplecasewhe
shouldnotbehomogeneousiswhesomeofthepiecesofinformationmustbeleftintact:forsuch
 
,wese
.Thisisusefultoencode 

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