RELEASE NOTES


BPL version 3.5


With respect to former version 3.4, the present version 3.5 adds the following:

Enhancements:

1) Graded rules. Fuzzy rules can be graded with an approximation degree with the following syntax:
Head :- Body with Degree.
where ‘:- true‘ can be omitted in the case of a rule with a true body (i.e., a fact). During a resolution step, Degree is composed with the resulting approximation degree obtained when weakly unifying Head and the current goal.

2) Closing the Windows application does no longer display a confirmation dialog box.

Fixed bugs:

1) The t-norm used when composing unification degrees was always min, instead of the selected one.
2) Upon file reloading, some predicates were incorrectly identified as built-ins.


BPL version 3.4


With respect to former version 3.3, the present version 3.4 adds the following:

Enhancements:

1) New explicit weak unification operator ~~. It enables expressing the weak unification of two terms, giving their approximation degree as an implicit result. Note that ~~ differs from the operator ~, which is a crisp one. For example, assuming the proximity equation a~b=0.5, the goal p(a)~p(b) succeeds with approximation degree 0.5. Note that the goal p(a)~p(b) is a syntactic sugaring for p(a)~p(b)>0, so that ~ cannot be used for explicit weak unification, and it returns an approximation degree of 1.0.

2) The compiled BPL file does not include the extension of sim/3 when either the algorithm A2 or A3 is selected. This reduces the size of the compilation of sim roughly to a half.

3) New command tm Input, which displays the execution time for Input by using the SWI-Prolog predicate time/1.

4) Optimized translation of rules:

      +   A goal degree_composition([],Degree) at the end of a clause is removed.

      +   A goal degree_composition([InDegree],OutDegree) at the end of a clause is replaced by the binding OutDegree <- InDegree.

Changes:

1) Reflexivity of ~ is removed from the TPL file and it is made implicit in the BPL code.

2) Answers are more akin to SWI-Prolog:

      +  Instead of ‘Yes’, ‘true’ is displayed for goals solved with no bindings.

      +  When a goal cannot be proved for the first time, ‘false’ is displayed.

      +  If no more solutions are proved to exist, the user is not asked for an action.

      +  Bindings are separated by commas.

      +  A crisp result is not accompanied by “With approximation degree: 1” anymore.

      +  The last answer of a goal is not accompanied by “No answer” anymore.

Fixed bugs:

1) Predicate names were not taken into account for weak unification of a proximity relation. So, some goals might incorrectly succeed.
2) The default t-norm for ~ was not predefined before loading a program.


BPL version 3.3


This release incorporates improvements in the operational mechanism and full access to WordNet through wide repertoire of built-in predicates.

More detailed, with respect to former version 3.2, the present version 3.3 adds the following:

Enhancements:

1) Improved performance for the proximity-based unification algorithm (A3-C  —  i.e., A3 with external computation of extended proximity relation RB)

2) Reduced size of TPL file for A3 algorithm

3) Access to wn_connect public predicates from BPL programs and goals. For using them as (sub)goals in the top-level, use either ensure_loaded(wn(wn_connect)) or previously load a program with the :- wn_connect directive.

4)  New directives for controlling compilation warnings:

      +    :- filtering_warning(+Boolean).
If Boolean=true, then warn if an equation is filtered
during parsing; otherwise, do not.

+    :- ontology_warning(+Boolean).
If Boolean=true, then warn if the loaded program does
not contain rules; otherwise, do not.

5) Completed extended help on the ‘ts’ command.

Changes:

1) Removed error messages from wn-connect public predicates. An error implies a failure now.

2) Slight changes in the system banner.

Fixed bugs:

1) Filtering was always made irrespective of the filtering command or directive.
2) Computations were pruned for a degree less **or equal** than the lambda-cut value.
3) In rules with only built-ins in the body, constraint stores were not correctly linked durint translation for A3 algorithm.
4) Algorithm A2 left extra choice-points.
5) Loading a file left extra choice-points.

 


BPL version 3.2


With respect to former version 3.1.1, the present version 3.2 adds the following:

Enhancements:

1) Modifiers on predicate symbols are allowed for flexible building of fuzzy relations.
2) Equations in both programs and ontologies can be filtered by lambda-cut. As well, those resulting from computing the closure are filtered by the lambda-cut. To change this behaviour, a new command ‘fl’ and a new directive ‘filtering’ to enable and disable filtering are added. Filtering may hugely prune the search space, reducing memory consumption and enhancing performance.
3) Fully automated tests (no need for user inputs).
4) Other minor enhancements are:

+ Void input (Intro) does no longer generate an error message.
+ An equation between two elements with a lower degree than an existing one is filtered in advance.

Fixed bugs:

1) When loading a program, previous sim equations were not cleared.
2) A comment at the last line without an ending new-line made the parsing to fail.
3) Incorrect error message for lambda_cut directive.
The transitivity directive might misbehave in specific situations.

 


BPL version 3.1.1


With respect to former version 3.1, the present version 3.1.1 adds the following:

1) Fixes a bug for the external computation of block equations (they were not updated correctly after submitting a goal containing fuzzy sets).

2) A host safe mode for web deployment: it minimizes the risks of external attacks to a web-based interface to the BPL system.

3) A folder with examples and a paper explaining them.

 


BPL version 3.1


With respect to former version 3.0, the present version 3.1 enables access to WordNet, with the following new features:

1) Following the tool WordNet::Similarity, three similarity measures based on path lengths between concepts (PATH, WUP and LCH), and three based on information content (RES, JCN and LIN) have been implemented in BPL.

2) New directives:
:- wn_connect.
This directive performs the necessary actions to connect Bousi~Prolog to the WordNet resources. It must occur before any other access to WordNet, and it assumes that the environment variable WNDB has been set to the OS directory in which the WordNet database is stored.
There is an alternative to this directive if the environment variable cannot be set or the user simply does not want to:

:- wn_connect(+Directory).
Where Directory is the directory in which the WordNet database is located (the symbol + indicates that this argument is required).

:- wn_gen_prox_equations(+Measure, +ListOfListsOfPatterns)
Where Measure is the similarity measure which can have any of the following constant values: path, wup, lch, res, jcn and lin. The second argument ListOfListsOfPatterns is a list for which each element is another list containing the patterns that must be related by proximity equations. The pattern can be either a word or the structure Word:Type:Sense, where Word is the word, Type is its type (either n for noun or v for verb), and Sense is the sense number in its synset. If the pattern is simply a word, then a sense number of 1 is assumed, and its type is made to match all other words in the same list.

 


BPL version 3.0


This release incorporates an efficient proximity-based unification algorithm for the first time.

The present release ver. 3.0 incorporates new functionalities with respect to ver. 2.01:

1) Three different weak unification algorithms:

(a1) The similarity-based unification algorithm proposed by Maria Sessa [Ses2002], which is only adequate for similarity relations (i.e., transitive proximities). Note that Sessa’s weak unification algorithm turns incomplete when it works with proximity relations that do not fulfil the transitive property. Then, use it when you work exclusively with similarity relations.

(a2) The original proximity-based unification algorithm that was defined in our 2015 FSS paper [JR2015], which uses “proximity constraints”. This algorithm is inefficient, therefore we do not recommend to use it.

(a3) A new reformulation of the proximity-based unification algorithm, which uses the new concept of “block constraint” (see our 2018 FuzzIEEE paper [JS2018]). It can be executed efficiently and we recommend this option when you use proximity relations; otherwise, the system becomes unsound.
These algorithms can be activated by means of the directive:

:- weak_unification(Alg).

where the parameter Alg is one of the constants {a1,a2,a3}. By default, the weak unification algorithm a1 is activated.

2) The weak unification algorithm relies on the proximity blocks of a proximity relation, in order to weak the notion of syntactic equality. Two symbols are approximate (i.e., considered equals) if they belong to the same proximity block.

The BPL system may compute proximity blocks by means of two different types of predicates: a foreign predicate, named “ext_block_equs“, implemented in C to obtain greater efficiency, as well as an internal predicate implemented in Prolog.

Proximity blocks are computed at compile time. The directive:

:- ext_block_equs(Boolean).

specifies if the proximity blocks are computed either by means of the foreign predicate (when Boolean is “true”), or by means of the internal predicate (when Boolean is “false”).

3) Former versions of the BPL system propagated truth degrees in a derivation by compounding the approximation degrees obtained in each step using a minimum t-norm exclusively. In the present implementation, it is possible to choose other t-norms, different of minimum t-norm. The directive:

:- fuzzy_logic(TNorm).

where the parameter TNorm is one of the following constants: min, product, luka, drastic, nilpotent, and hamacher.

Note that this new functionality can be understood as the way the conjunction symbol (“,”) in the body of a rule or in a goal is interpreted. For instance, if we choose “hamacher” as the value of the parameter “TNorm”, the conjunction “,” will be interpreted as a Hamacher t-norm.

 


BPL version 2.01


The present release ver. 2.01 does not incorporate new functionalities with regard to ver. 2.0, but it incorporates adaptations to permit the execution of Bousi~Prolog on the last version 7.6.4 of SWI-Prolog.

 


BPL version 2.0


This is the first BPL version where programs are not meta-interpreted. Instead, BPL programs are translated to standard Prolog code able to simulate the Weak operational semantics. The weak unification process still relays on Sessa’s similarity-based unification algorithm.

The present release ver. 2.0 incorporates new features with respect to ver. 1.07:

1) A new lexical, syntactic and semantic analysis of BPL programs.

2) A compiler able of translating Bousi∼Prolog programs into intermediate structures that can be used later by a Prolog interpreter.

3) A renewed command processor that allows loading and executing BPL programs using the compiler and interpreter previously mentioned.

4) Support for fuzzy sets and linguistic variables:
The domain directive allows to declare and define the universe of discourse associated to a linguistic variable. We only deal with domains of the real interval. The concrete syntax of this directive is
:-domain(Dom_Name,n,m,Magnitude).
where, Dom_Name is the name of the domain, n and m (with n < m) are the lower and upper bounds of the real subinterval [n, m], and Magnitude is the name of the unit wherein the domain elements are measured.
Example:    :-domain(age,0,100,years)

The fuzzy set directive allows to declare and define a list of fuzzy subsets (which are associated to the primary terms of a linguistic variable) on a predefined domain. The concrete syntax of this directive is:
     :-fuzzy_set(Dom_Name,[Set1(a1,b1,c1[,d1]), …, SetN(aN,bN,cN[,dN]]).
Fuzzy subsets are defined by indicating their name, Set_i, and membership function type. At this time, it is possible to define two types of membership functions: either a trapezoidal function (if four arguments are used for defining the fuzzy subset) or a triangular function (if three arguments are used).
Example:
:-fuzzy_set(age, [young(0,0,30,50), middle(20,40,60,80), old(50,80,100,100)]).

Operator # for the generation of composite terms (e.g. very#young, more_or_less#middle or extremely#old), domain points (e.g. age#22, about#age#22) and domain ranges (e.g. age#20#30, about#age#20#30).

5) Access to all repertory of standard SWI-Prolog predicates.

 


BPL version 1.07


BPL version 1.07 was the first publicly available BPL release based on a high level implementation.
The BPL system (versions 1 to 1.07) was a prototype, written on top of SWI-Prolog. The parser and translator module translated (compiled) rules and facts of the source BPL code into an intermediate Prolog code representation which was called “TPL code” (Translated BPL code). Then, following standard techniques, a meta-interpreter executed the TPL code according to the weak SLD resolution principle.

For that version BPL essentially provides:

1) An implementation of Sessa’s weak unification algorithm which operates on the basis of a similarity relation (a fuzzy binary relation holding the reflexive, symmetric and transitive properties) on a syntactic domain.

2) Automatic generation of a similarity relation starting from an ordinary fuzzy binary relation on a set of first order symbols of a BPL program. The arbitrary fuzzy binary relation R is represented by a set of proximity equations of the form
 symbol ~ symbol = degree
A proximity equation “a ~ b = degree” is representing the entry “R(a,b)=degree” of the relation R. The user supplies an initial subset of similarity equations and then, the system automatically generates a reflexive, symmetric, transitive closure to obtain a similarity relation. The transitivity/1 directive can alter this default behavior.

A foreign module, written in the C programming language, implemented the algorithm for the construction of the similarity relation.

3) BPL directives:
:- transitivity(<option>).
depending on the <option> (yes or no) it activates or deactivates the generation of the transitive closure of the fuzzy relation.

:- lambda_cut(<degree>).
imposes a <degree> limit to the expansion of the search space in a computation.

4) BPL operators: weak unification operator (∼∼) ; crisp negation as failure (\+) and weak negation as failure (not).

5) Access to the main repertory of standard Prolog predicates: arithmetic and comparison operators; syntactic unification; list manipulation; predicates for analysing and constructing terms and strings; Edinburgh-style I/O and control predicates.

APPLICATIONS

 

A Prolog library to access WordNet

WN_CONNECT is a software application prototype that aims to access the lexical database WordNet. One of its main features is that it has been fully implemented using Prolog. WN_CONNECT has been integrated into Bousi~Prolog, but it can also used for any Prolog system.

Download the software by clicking in the following link. After unzipping wn.zip, do not forget to read the README.TXT:

WN_CONNECT ver. 1.3

Declarative Text Classification with Bousi~Prolog

Bousi~Prolog has been employed with success for classifying unlabeled short texts and text cataloging in general. A detailed discussion can be seen in:

Francisco P. Romero, Pascual Julián Iranzo, Andrés Soto, Mateus Ferreira Satler, Juan Gallardo-Casero:
Classifying unlabeled short texts using a fuzzy declarative approach.
Language Resources and Evaluation 47(1): 151-178 (2013)

where a declarative method for text categorisation which does not need a pre-classified set of training documents is given.

The following link provides the text classifier, a set of ontologies and documents, as well as instructions to reproduce the experiments performed in that paper:

 Download the Fuzzy Declarative Classifier

DOWNLOADS

Bousi~Prolog Manual

The current version of the Bousi∼Prolog manual is under construction.

At the present time we provide the manual of BPL version 2.0 by clicking:

Bousi∼Prolog ver. 2.0: Implementation, User Manual and Applications

As the title of the document specifies it is more than a simple user manual, since it gives insights on the theory supporting this system and the techniques we used to implement it.

Program Examples

Bousi∼Prolog may contribute to resolve several problems extracted from different application areas, where it is mandatory to deal with vagueness and uncertain knowledge. The following link contains a set of program examples:

A collection of sample programs

Most of them were described in a paper presented at the 2010 International Conference on Fuzzy Computation.



BPL version 3.5

The main enhancements of this new version 3.5 are that it allows annotated rules and eliminates a number of bugs. Rules can be annotated with an approximation degree following syntax: Head :- Body with Degree.  BPL version 3.4 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.5-highsierra-executable
bpl-3.5-ubuntu32-executable
bpl-3.5-ubuntu64-executable
bpl-3.5-win32-executable

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.5-unix-installer
bpl-3.5-win32-installer

 

BPL version 3.4

This new version 3.4 provides a better compilation method which optimizes TPL code. It also incorporates an explicit weak unification operator ~~, which can be used in goals and the body of rules. BPL version 3.4 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.4-highsierra-executable
bpl-3.4-ubuntu32-executable
bpl-3.4-ubuntu64-executable
bpl-3.4-win32-executable

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.4-unix-installer
bpl-3.4-win32-installer

BPL version 3.3

With respect to former version 3.2, this new version incorporates improvements in the operational mechanism and full access to WordNet through a wide repertoire of built-in predicates. Now all public predicates of the WN-CONNECT modules are accesible through the  command line of the BPL shell. BPL version 3.3 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.3-highsierra-executable
bpl-3.3-ubuntu32-executable
bpl-3.3-ubuntu64-executable
bpl-3.3-win32-executable

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.3-unix-installer
bpl-3.3-win32-installer

 

BPL version 3.2

With respect to former version 3.1.1, the current version 3.2 introduces filtering for compiled program optimization and modifiers on predicate symbols. BPL version 3.2 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.2-highsierra-executable
bpl-3.2-ubuntu32-executable
bpl-3.2-ubuntu64-executable
bpl-3.2-win32-executable

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.2-unix-installer
bpl-3.2-win32-installer

BPL version 3.1.1

With respect to former version 3.1, the present version 3.1.1 fixes a bug for the external computation of block equations . In addition it provides a host safe mode for web deployment. BPL version 3.1.1 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.1.1-highsierra-executable
bpl-3.1.1-ubuntu32-executable
bpl-3.1.1-ubuntu64-executable
bpl-3.1.1-win32-executable

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.1.1-unix-installer
bpl-3.1.1-win32-installer

BPL version 3.1

This release integrates Bousi~Prolog with WordNet. It provides directives that allow us to generate proximity equations automatically by using some standard similarity measures based on WordNet. BPL version 3.1 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.1-highsierra-executable.zip
bpl-3.1-ubuntu64-executable.zip
bpl-3.1-ubuntu32-executable.zip
bpl-3.1-win32-executable.zip

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.1-unix-installer.zip            (linux-like and macOS)
bpl-3.1-win32-installer.zip

BPL version 3.0

This release works with unification by proximity. BPL version 3,0 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-3.0-highsierra-executable.zip
bpl-3.0-ubuntu32-executable.zip
bpl-3.0-ubuntu64-executable.zip
bpl-3.0-win32-executable.zip

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-3.0-unix-installer.zip            (linux-like and macOS)
bpl-3.0-win32-installer.zip

BPL version 2.0

This release incorporates fuzzy sets and a great number of improvements with regards to version 1.07. Also, it has been updated to deal with the new features of  SWI-Prolog ver. 7.6.4.

BPL version 2,0 can be downloaded by clicking these links:

Executables: They only contain executable files. They do not require installing SWI-Prolog.
bpl-2.01-highsierra-executable.zip
bpl-2.01-ubuntu32-executable.zip
bpl-2.01-ubuntu64-executable.zip
bpl-2.01-win32-executable.zip

Installers: They contain the source files and the scripts necessary for their compilation and installation automatically.
bpl-2.01-unix-installer.zip
bpl-2.01-win32-installer.zip

BPL version 1.07

The BPL system version1.07 was a prototype, written on top of SWI-Prolog. Source code was translated (compiled) into an intermediate Prolog code representation which was called “TPL code” (Translated BPL code). Then, following standard techniques, a meta-interpreter executed the TPL code according to the weak SLD resolution principle.

This is and old version of the BPL system and  it can not deal with the new features of  SWI-Prolog ver. 7.6.4.

BPL version 1.07 can be downloaded by clicking this link: bousi-installer_v1.07.zip

HISTORY

The low level approach
The first implementation of Bousi~Prolog (circa 2005-06) was due to Clemente Rubio-Manzano (now at the Bío-Bío University -Chile-) when he was a doctorate student and I his doctoral advisor. This implementation was based on an adaptation of the Warren Abstract Machine (WAM) that we called Similarity WAM Machine.

The Similarity WAM machine (SWAM) is a virtual machine for executing BPL programs coping with similarity relations (not with proximity relations yet). It was implemented using the Java programming language. Roughly speaking, it is an adaptation of the classical WAM, able to execute a Prolog program in the context of a similarity relation defined on the first order alphabet induced by that program. The SWAM uses an operational mechanism that conforms with the weak SLD principle. We dealt with the problem of adapting the WAM to incorporate fuzzy unification in a conservative way, without forcing its main structure. The SWAM is based in a pre-compilation phase, called the Adapter, which introduces some adaptations into the source code to facilitate the translation task. Also, the Adapter translates the original program into a transformed program, with explicit information about the similarity degree of predicates, that helps us to manage similarity relations properly. The similarity relation is stored into the Similarity Matrix memory area and its information is used: during the pre-compilation phase, by the Adapter; at execution time, when it is necessary during the unification process.

The implementation of Bousi~Prolog based on the SWAM was called the “low level” implementation. Although it had advanced features like a GUI interface, the main problem with that implementation was that it only cover the essential features of a standard Prolog system: (weak) unification; (weak) resolution and basic I/O predicates. Moreover, weak unification were not appropriated for working with proximity relations.

Clemente did a great job, but it was very difficult to overcome these aforementioned limitations. At that time I was focused on the theory and he was the only implementer. A larger team was needed to address that task.

The high level approach
Long ago we abandoned the idea of implementing the BPL system using the Similarity WAM. As it has been pointed out, the reason was that we should have had to replicate the entire features of a standard Prolog system and this was a goal above our limited possibilities. Therefore, we decided to build what we called a “high level” implementation based on Prolog its self. This way we could trap nearly all features of a Prolog system easily. I implemented the core of the system (it was circa 2008) and lately Juan Gallardo-Casero (now working at INDRA) completed the task.

A) BPL versions 1 to 1.07
The BPL system (versions 1 to 1.07) was a prototype, written on top of SWI-Prolog. The complete implementation consisted of about 900 lines of Prolog code. The parser and translator module translated (compiled) rules and facts of the source BPL code into an intermediate Prolog code representation which was called “TPL code” (Translated BPL code). Then, following standard techniques, a meta-interpreter executed the TPL code according to the weak SLD resolution principle.

For that versions BPL essentially implemented Sessas’ weak unification algorithm which operates on the basis of a similarity relation (a fuzzy binary relation holding the reflexive, symmetric and transitive properties) on a syntactic domain. So it was important to generate automatically the similarity relation starting from an ordinary fuzzy binary relation on a set of first order symbols of a BPL program. As it was commented, proximity equations of the form

symbol ~ symbol = degree

were used to represent an arbitrary fuzzy binary relation R. A proximity equation “a ~ b = degree” is representing the entry “R(a,b)=degree” of the relation R. The user supplies an initial subset of similarity equations and then, the system automatically generates a reflexive, symmetric, transitive closure to obtain a similarity relation. The transitivity/1 directive can alter this default behavior. A foreign module, written in the C programming language, implemented the algorithm for the construction of the similarity relation. See ‘A procedure for the construction of a similarity relation’ for more details about that algorithm. The foreign library was implemented by Juan Gallardo-Casero. It was his first contribution to the system when he was yet a student.

We gave great importance to this feature because it freed the programmer from the need to build the similarity relation by hand.

B) BPL version 2.0
Between 2010 and 2011, Juan took over the implementation and completely renewed the system.

I asked him to improve the parser that I was implemented using very ad-hoc techniques (it did not even have syntactic error control). Also I suggested a method to translate/compile BPL programs to Prolog in order to eliminate the necessity of a meta-interpreter. The translations was inspired in techniques used for the Adapter module of the SWAM. However, He did much more than that. He improved the structure of the system and every corner of it. He even implemented a GUI interface. When he ended the system was a mature one.

Then, the complete implementation consisted of about 6193 lines of Prolog code (in 10 modules), 1879 lines of C code (in 6 files, excluding the header files) and a number of shell script files to facilitate the installation of the BPL system. After that, the system was more reliable, safe and efficient.

C) The crossing of the desert
In 2012 we were on the deep of the economic crisis and a regional project I was leading conclude and it was impossible to keep going. Money stoped and people had to emigrate. It was a difficult time.

Because similarity relations have expressive limitations, I dedicated my time to defines a proximity-based unification algorithm which was sound and complete and could be implemented efficiently.

D) BPL version 3.0
In 2016 I met Fernando Sáenz-Pérez at the annual Spanish conference on Programming Languages ​​(PROLE). I admired Fernando for all the work he was doing on the Datalog Educational System (DES). After my talk, at lunch, we had the opportunity to talk about our work. He was interested in the work we did on BPL (although it had not been the main topic of my talk) and proposed to work to make a fuzzy version of his DES system. That gave rise to him knowing the BPL system and an advantageous collaboration for both began.

In 2017 I new how to implement a proximity-based unification algorithm efficiently and we started working in that direction.

The proximity-based unification algorithm is based on a new notion of proximity over syntactic symbols. Given a proximity relation R on the symbols of an alphabet and two symbols a and b, they approximate if they belong to the same proximity block and they are always assigned to only a proximity block (note that, it is not sufficient that R(a,b) with a certain degree). If we represent R as a graph, a proximity block is a maximal clique.

Roughly speaking, two terms weakly unify if the symbols at the root position belong to the same proximity block, the arguments of the terms pairwise weakly unify and there are no inconsistencies in the block assignments.

The main novelties of BPL version 3.0 have been the implementation of the new proximity-based unification algorithm and its incorporation to the resolution procedure. Also we introduced other improvements, like the possibility of working with different t-norms distinct than the minimum t-norm. At the present time, the BPL system implements three different weak unification algorithms, including the similarity-based unification algorithm proposed by Maria Sessa, which is only adequate for similarity relations. You can choose which one to use using the weak_unification/1 directive.

We had to modify a number of modules of the BPL system to complete the task and the experience of Fernando was very valuable. Clearly, he played a decisive role in the success of the project.

E) BPL version 3.1
This version integrates WordNet into Bousi~Prolog. Because WordNet relates words but does not give graded information of the relation between them, we have implemented standard similarity measures and new directives that allow us to generate the proximity equations linking two words with an approximation degree.

F) BPL version 3.2
This version has reached a new degree of maturity. The system is more stable and a number of small errors have been eliminated. However, the main novelty of this version has been the incorporation of filtering techniques that optimize the TPL code generated after the parsing phase. Also, fuzzy modifiers can be applied on predicate symbols.

G) BPL version 3.3 and 3.4
Both versions incorporates improvements in the operational mechanism and full access to WordNet through a wide repertoire of built-in predicates. Now all public predicates of the WN-CONNECT modules are accesible through the  command line of the BPL shell. Version 4.3 provides a better compilation method which optimices TPL code. Also incorporates an explicit weak unification operator ~~, which can be used in goals and the body of rules.

LANGUAGE OVERVIEW

The BPL syntax is mainly the Prolog syntax but enriched with a built-in symbol “~” used for describing proximity relations (actually, fuzzy binary relations which are automatically converted into proximity or similarity relations) by means of what we call a proximity equation. Proximity equations are expressions of the form:

<symbol> ~ <symbol> = <proximity degree> 

Although, a proximity equation represents an arbitrary fuzzy binary relation, its intuitive reading is that two constants, n-ary function symbols or n-ary predicate symbols are approximate or similar with a certain degree. That is, a proximity equation

a~b = α

can be understood in both directions: a is approximate/similar to b and b is approximate/similar to a with degree α. Therefore, a BPL program is a sequence of Prolog facts and rules followed by a sequence of proximity equations. 

Example 1. Suppose a fragment of a database that stores a semantic network with information about people’s names and hair color, as well as the approximate relation between black, brown and blond hair. 

% BPL directive                % FACTS
 :- transitivity(no).           is_a(john, person).
                                is_a(peter, person).
% SIMILARITY EQUATIONS          is_a(mary, person).
  black~brown=0.6.              hair_color(john,black).
  black~blond=0.3.              hair_color(peter,brown).
  blond~brown=0.6.              hair_color(mary,blond).

In a standard Prolog system, if we ask about whether peter’s hair is blond, “?- hair color(peter, blond)”, the system fails. However BPL allows us to obtain the answer “Yes with 0.6”. 

To obtain this answer, the BPL system operates as follows: i) First it gen- erates the reflexive, symmetric closure of the fuzzy relation {R(black, brown) = 0.6, R(black,blond) = 0.3, R(blond,brown) = 0.6}, constructing a proxim- ity relation. ii) Then it tries to unify the goal hair color(peter, blond) and (eventually) the fact hair color(peter,brown). Because there exists the en- try R(brown, blond) = 0.6 in the constructed proximity relation (that is, brown is approximate to blond), the unification process succeeds with approximation degree 0.6. 

The above example serves to illustrate both the syntax and the operational se- mantics of the language. Also, it is important to note that, in the last example, to inhibit the construction of the transitive closure (and therefore the construc- tion of a similarity relation) has been crucial to model the information properly and to obtain a convenient result. This effect is obtained by the BPL directive transitivity which disables or enables the construction of the transitive closure of a fuzzy relation during the compilation process. If a similarity relation would be generated, the system would constructed the entries R(brown, blond) = 0.3 and R(blond,brown) = 0.3, overlapping the initial approximation degree pro- vided by the user and leading to a wrong information modeling 

Unification and term comparison. 
BPL implements a weak unification operator, also denoted by ‘~’. It can be used, in the source language, to construct expressions like ‘Term1 ~ Term2 =:= Degree’ which is interpreted as follows: The expression is true if Term1 and Term2 are unifiable by proximity with approximation degree equal to Degree. In general, we can construct expressions ‘Term1 ~ Term2 <op> Degree’ where “<op>” is a comparison arithmetic operator or the symbol “=”. In the last case, the construction “Term1 ~ Term2 = Degree” success if Term1 and Term2 are weak unifiable with approximation degree Degree.  Note that these are crisp expressions which are evaluated to the approximation degree 1.0.

Starting with BPL version 3.4, an explicit weak unification operator ‘~~’ was implemented, which is the fuzzy counterpart of the syntactical unification operator ‘=’ of standard Prolog. The expression ‘Term1 ~~ Term2’  success with degree D if  Term1 and Term2 are unifiable by proximity with approximation degree D. Note that contrary to the last operator  ‘~’, this is a fuzzy operator that returns approximation degrees between 0 and 1.0.

The expressions built with these operators may be introduced in a query as well as in the body of a clause.

Fuzzy sets. 
BPL makes use of two directives to define and declare the structure of a linguistic variable: domain and fuzzy_set. 

The domain directive allows to declare and define the universe of discourse or domain associated to a linguistic variable.  The fuzzy_set directive allows to declare and define a list of fuzzy subsets (which are associated to the primary terms of a linguistic variable) on a predefined domain. At this time, it is possible to define two types of membership functions: either a trapezoidal function or a triangular function. 

BPL provides modifiers that can be applied to fuzzy subsets. Additionally, a BPL program may include what we call “domain points” and “domain ranges”. 

Example 2. BPL models the following fuzzy inference in a very natural way: “if $x$  is young then $x$ is fast” and “Robert is middle” then “Robert is somewhat fast”.

% DIRECTIVES
 :-domain(age, 0, 100, years).
 :-fuzzy_set(age,[young(0,0,30,50), middle(20,40,60,80),
                  old(50,80,100,100)]).
 :-domain(speed, 0, 40, km/h).
 :-fuzzy_set(speed,[slow(0,0,15,20), normal(15,20,25,40),
                    fast(25,30,40,40)]).

% FACTS AND RULES
 speed(X, fast) :- age(X, young).        
 age(robert, middle).

Now, if we launch the goal: “?- speed(robert,somewhat#fast). The BPL system answers “Yes with 0.375”.

WordNet and BPL. 

In Bousi∼Prolog, the wn-connect subsystem must be made visible before using the built-ins (public predicates) defined in its modules. This can be done interactively, without the requirement of loading a BPL program first, by launching the following goal:

BPL> ensure_loaded(wn(wn_connect)).
         Yes
         With approximation degree: 1 .

or loading a program, with the directive  :- wn connect. in the first line of the program.

Remember that BPL directives must be used within a program. BPL directives  to access the WordNet database and all the ancillary stuff for related predicates are the following:

:- wn_connect.
This directive performs the necessary actions to connect BPL to the WordNet resources. It must occur before any other access to WordNet, and it assumes that the environment variable WNDB has been set to the OS directory in which the WordNet database is stored.

There is an alternative to this directive if the environment variable cannot be set or the user simply does not want to:

:- wn_connect(Directory).
Where Directory is the directory where the WordNet database is located.

Next directives are responsible for generating proximity equations building an ontology:

:- wn_gen_prox_equations(Msr, LL_of_Pats).
Where Msr is the similarity measure which can have any of the following constant values:  path,  wup (Wu & Palmer, 1994), lch (Leacock & Chodorow, 1998), res (Resnik, 1995), jcn (Jiang & Conrath, 1997) and lin (Lin, 1998). The second argument LL_of_Pats is a list for which each element is another list containing the patterns that must be related by proximity equations.
The pattern can be either a word or the structure Word:Type:Sense, where Word is the word, Type is its type (either n for noun or v for verb) and Sense is the sense number in its synset.
If the pattern is simply a word, then a sense number of 1 is assumed, and its type is made to match to all other words in the same list.

Filtering techniques.
The BPL code can be optimized using filtering techniques. The idea is that the proximity equations in the program files and ontology can be filtered according to the lambda cut, so that the proximity equations that relate the terms with a degree lower than the lambda cut are discarded. Also, this technique prevents the generation of certain rules after the parsing phase, which greatly reduces non-determinism and, therefore, the search tree for a given goal.

Filtering can be activated or deactivated inside a BPL program, using a directive, or from the the BPL shell, using the command fl:
– Filtering directive:    :-filtering(+Boolean).   If the parameter Boolean is true, activates filtering, if it is false, disables filtering.
– Command fl:    fl +Boolean.   Same behaviour as the directive.

On the other hand, the lambda-cut can be modified using the BPL shell command lc.

 

INTRODUCTION

Logic Programming is founded on the idea that logic, or at least substantial subsets of it, can be used as a programming language. Although logic programming has been used in a wide range of applications such as problem solving and knowledge representation, deductive database systems, expert systems or natural language processing, it has not direct tools to deal with the essential vagueness or uncertainty of some problems.

Fuzzy Logic Programming amalgamates fuzzy logic and pure logic programming, in order to provide these languages with the ability of dealing with uncertainty and approximated reasoning. One of the main advantages of this combination is the construction of programming languages that allow us to deal with imprecise information by using declarative techniques. 

Bousi~Prolog (BPL) is a fuzzy logic programming language that replaces the syntactic unification mechanism of classical SLD-resolution by a fuzzy unification algorithm. This algorithm provides a weak most general unifier as well as a numerical value, called the unification degree. Intuitively, the unification degree represents the truth degree associated with the (query) computed instance. Then, the core of BPL operational semantics is a fuzzy unification algorithm based on proximity relations (that is reflexive and symmetric, but not necessarily transitive, binary fuzzy relations on a set). Hence, generalizing the operational mechanism of Maria I. Sessa, based on similarity relations, and increasing the expressive power of the resulting language. Proximity relations allow us to model problems where the transitivity restriction of a similarity relation is an obstacle.

Also we use proximity relations to implement  fuzzy sets (linguistic variables),  obtaining an elegant, simple, natural and efficient fuzzy Prolog system based on weak unification.

Starting with version 3.1 of the BPL system, it integrates WordNet. Version 3.2 has been a step ahead to efficiency by means of the implementation of novel filtering techniques that optimize the TPL code generated after the parsing phase. Version 3.3 has increased the connection wit WordNet.

Bousi~Prolog Aplications 
There are several practical applications for a language with the aforementioned characteristics: flexible query answering; advanced pattern matching; information retrieval where textual information is selected or analyzed using an ontology; text cataloging and analysis; etc. 

WELCOME

This is the official wedsite of the Bousi~Prolog system.

Bousi~Prolog is a fuzzy logic programming system. This software is for research and educational purposes only and it is distributed with NO WARRANTY.

This site maintains the high level implementation of the Bousi~Prolog system that was developed using SWI-Prolog and the C programming language by:

Juan Gallardo-Casero and Pascual Julián-Iranzo.

Additional contributors:

Fernando Sáenz-Perez (University Complutense of Madrid)