Published July 6, 2023 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Excursions in first-order logic and probability: infinitely many random variables, continuous distributions, recursive programs and beyond


  • 1. University of Edinburgh


The unification of the first-order logic and probability has been seen as a long-standing concern in philosophy, AI and mathematics. In this talk, I will briefly review our recent results on revisiting that unification. Although there are plenty of approaches in communities such as statistical relational learning, automated planning, and neuro-symbolic AI that leverage and develop languages with logical and probabilistic aspects, they almost always restrict the representation as well as the semantic framework in various ways that does not fully explain how to combine first-order logic and probability theory in a general way. In many cases, this restriction is justified because it may be necessary to focus on practicality and efficiency. However, the search for a restriction-free mathematical theory remains ongoing. In this article, we discuss our recent results regarding the development of languages that support arbitrary quantification, possibly infinitely many ran- dom variables, both discrete and continuous distributions, as well as programming languages built on top of such features to include recursion and branching control.



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