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Getting started with Prolog

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1 Getting started with Prolog
Logic Programming Lecture 1: Course orientation; Getting started with Prolog

2 What is Logic Programming?
Logic Programming is a programming paradigm cf. object-oriented or functional programming Not a particular language (like Java or Haskell) Declarative philosophy specify problem, let computer search for answer

3 The declarative dream Slogan: "Algorithm = Logic + Control"
Would like to write a program that describes the solutions to the problem Computer then finds answers Programmer shouldn't have to think about how the system works

4 The reality Purely declarative programming can only get you so far
I/O, interaction with outside world, seem inherently "imperative" For efficiency/termination, sometimes need finer-grained control over search

5 Prolog Prolog is the best-known LP language
Core based on first-order (predicate) logic Algorithmic realization via unification, search Many implementations that make it into a full-fledged programming language I/O, primitive ops, efficiency issues complicate declarative story

6 Why learn LP? LP often great for rapidly prototyping algorithms/search strategies "Declarative" ideas arise in many areas of CS LP concepts very important in AI, databases, PL SAT solvers, model-checking, constraint programming Becoming important in program analysis, Semantic Web Learning a very different "way to think about problems" makes you a better programmer

7 Course objectives Theory Programming
first-order logic, semantics of LP unification, resolution proof search Programming basic LP techniques in Prolog how to use LP to solve interesting problems AI, parsing, search, symbolic processing

8 Organization Lectures M,Th 15:00 First two weeks:
2 programming, 2 theory Remainder of semester: alternate Theory Monday, programming Thursday No lectures week of Nov 1 Tutorial/lab sessions: M,Th,F 16:00, from week 3 Slides, tutorial problems posted on course web page:

9 Evaluation 10 point UG3 course No coursework Final exam:
but tutorial participation strongly encouraged Tutorial exercises representative of exam problems Final exam: Programming 50% Theory 50% UG3 students: pass mark 40% MSc students: pass mark 50%

10 Getting started We’ll use SICStus Prolog
Free for UofE students Can request through Windows support Available on all DICE machines Tutorials, exams will be based on this version Online documentation

11 Hello World Prolog is an interactive language. $ sicstus

12 Hello World Prolog is an interactive language. $ sicstus ?- Prompt

13 Hello World Prolog is an interactive language. $ sicstus
?- print(’hello world’). Goal

14 Hello World Prolog is an interactive language. $ sicstus
?- print(’hello world’). hello world yes Output response

15 Atoms An atom is Examples: homer marge lisa bart
a sequence of alphanumeric characters usually starting with lower case letter or, a string enclosed in single quotes Examples: homer marge lisa bart ‘Mr. Burns’ ’Principal Skinner’

16 Variables A variable is a sequence of alphanumeric characters
usually starting with an uppercase letter Examples: X Y Z Parent Child Foo

17 Predicates A predicate has the form p(t1,...,tn)
where p is an atom and are terms (For now a term is just an atom or variable) Examples: father(homer, bart) mother(marge, bart)

18 Predicates (2) A predicate has a name and an arity
= atom p in p(t1,...,tn) and an arity = number of arguments (n) Predicates with same name but different arity are different We write foo/1, foo/2, ... to refer to these different predicates

19 Punctuation is important!
Facts Punctuation is important! A fact is an assertion that a predicate is true: father(homer, bart). mother(marge, bart). A collection of facts is sometimes called a knowledge base (or database).

20 Goals A goal is a sequence of predicates
p(t1,...,tn), ..., q(t1',...,tn'). We interpret “,” as conjunction Logically, read as "p holds of and ... and q holds of t1''" Predicates can be 0-ary Some built-ins: true, false, fail

21 Answers Given a goal, Prolog searches for answer(s)
“yes” (possibly with answer substitution) “no” Substitutions are bindings of variables that make goal true Use “;” to see more answers

22 Examples ?- father(X,bart). X = homer ; no
?- father(X,Z), mother(Y,Z). X = homer, Y = marge, Z = bart ; X = homer, Y = marge, Z = lisa ; X = homer, Y = marge, Z = maggie ;

23 Rules A rule is an assertion of the form
p(ts) :- q(ts’), ..., r(ts’’). where ts, ts’, ts’’ are sequences of terms “p(ts) holds if q(ts’) holds and ... and r(ts’’) holds” Example: sibling(X,Y) :- parent(Z,X), parent(Z,Y).

24 Miscellaneous Comments To quit Sicstus, type ?- exit.
% single line comment /* multiple line comment */ To quit Sicstus, type ?- exit. (or just control-D)

25 Consulting A Prolog program is a collection of facts and rules, or clauses stored in one or more files The predicate consult/1 loads the facts/rules in a file ?- consult(‘’).

26 Consulting (2) If the file name ends with '.pl', can just write:
?- consult(simpsons). Also, can just write ?- [simpsons].

27 A complete program /* * James Cheney * Sept. 20, 2010 */
main :- print('hello world').

28 Tracing trace/0 turns on tracing notrace/0 turns tracing off
debugging/0 shows tracing status

29 Further reading Quick Start Prolog notes (Dave Robertson)
Learn Prolog Now! (Blackburn, Bos, Striegnitz) online, free Programming in Prolog (Clocksin & Mellish) a standard/classic text, many library copies

30 Exercises Using, write goal bodies for:
classmate(X,Y) employer(X) parent(X,Y) grandparent(X,Y) More in tutorial problems handout

31 Next time Compound terms Equality and unification
How Prolog searches for answers

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