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Analysing Logic Programs by Reasoning Backwards: A Decade of Research Advances in Logic-Based Program Development

Howe, Jacob M. and King, Andy and Lu, Lunjin (2004) Analysing Logic Programs by Reasoning Backwards: A Decade of Research Advances in Logic-Based Program Development. In: Bruynooghe, Maurice and Lau, Kung-Kiu, eds. Program Development in Computational Logic. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3049 . Springer, pp. 152-188. ISBN 978-3-540-22152-4. (doi:10.1007/978-3-540-25951-0_6) (KAR id:37608)


One recent advance in program development has been the application of abstract interpretation to verify the partial correctness of a (constraint) logic program. Traditionally forwards analysis has been applied that starts with an initial goal and traces the execution in the direction of the control-flow to approximate the program state at each program point. This is often enough to verify assertions that a property holds. The dual approach is to apply backwards analysis to propagate properties of the allowable states against the control-flow to infer queries for which the program will not violate any assertion. Backwards analysis also underpins other program development tasks such as verifying the termination of a logic program or proving that a logic program with a delay mechanism cannot reduce to a state that contains sub-goals which suspend indefinitely. This paper reviews various backwards analyses that have been proposed for logic programs, identifying common threads in these techniques. The analyses are explained through a series of worked examples. The paper concludes with some suggestions for research in backwards analysis for logic program development.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-540-25951-0_6
Subjects: A General Works
A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Andy King
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 08:34 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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