Category-based Semantics for Equational and Constraint Logic Programming (abstract)

This thesis proposes a general framework for equational logic programming, called category-based equational logic by placing the general principles underlying the design of the programming language Eqlog and formulated by Goguen and Meseguer into an abstract form. This framework generalises equational deduction to an arbitrary category satisfying certain natural conditions; completeness is proved under a hypothesis of quantifier projectivity, using a semantic treatment that regards quantifiers as models rather than variables, and regards valuations as model morphisms rather than functions. This is used as a basis for a model theoretic category-based approach to a paramodulation-based operational semantics for equational logic programming languages.

Category-based equational logic in conjunction with the theory of institutions is used to give mathematical foundations for modularisation in equational logic programming. We study the soundness and completeness problem for module imports in the context of a category-based semantics for solutions to equational logic programming queries.

Constraint logic programming is integrated into the equational logic programming paradigm by showing that constraint logics are a particular case of category-based equational logic. This follows the methodology of free expansions of models for built-ins along signature inclusions as sketched by Goguen and Meseguer in their papers on Eqlog. The mathematical foundations of constraint logic programming are based on a Herbrand Theorem for constraint logics; this is obtained as an instance of a more general category-based version of Herbrand's Theorem.

The results in this thesis apply to equational and constraint logic programming languages that are based on a variety of equational logical systems including many and order sorted equational logics, Horn clause logic, equational logic modulo a theory, constraint logics, and more, as well as any possible combination between them. More importantly, this thesis gives the possibility for developing the equational logic (programming) paradigm over non-conventional structures and thus significantly extending it beyond its tradition.

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