Next Steps in Propositional Horn Contraction

Standard belief contraction assumes an underlying logic containing full classical propositional logic, but there are good reasons for considering contraction in less expressive logics. In this paper we focus on Horn logic. In addition to being of interest in its own right, our choice is motivated by the use of Horn logic in several areas, including ontology reasoning in description logics. We consider three versions of contraction: entailment-based and inconsistency-basedcontraction (e-contraction and i-contraction, resp.), introduced by Delgrande for Horn logic, and package contraction (p-contraction), studied by Fuhrmann and Hansson for the classical case. We show that the standard basic form of contraction, partial meet, is too strong in the Horn case. We define more appropriate notions of basic contraction for all three types above, and provide associated representation results in terms of postulates. Our results stand in contrast to Delgrande's conjectures that orderly maxichoice is the appropriate contraction for both e- and i-contraction. Our interest in p-contraction stems from its relationship with an important reasoning task in ontological reasoning:repairing the subsumption hierarchy in EL. This is closely related to p-contraction with sets of basic Horn clauses (Horn clauses of the form p -> q). We show that this restricted version of p-contraction can also be represented as i-contraction.

Richard Booth, Thomas Meyer, Ivan Josť Varzinczak