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README.md

Logical

Logical is a minimalistic logic programming inspired by microKanren, which is

  • Simple implementation with only a few building blocks
  • Easy to understand and use
  • Supports negation free constraint logic programming

How does it work?

To understand Logical first you need to understands it's basic building blocks which are the following:

  • Value
  • State
  • Goal

Value

Logical is basically could be seen as a embeded programming language(or DSL), which allows us to use logic programming in Ocaml. It also means that it has it own (value) type system:

type variable = string

type value = 
    | Int of int
    | Float of float
    | Str of string
    | Bool of bool
    | Var of variable
    | Set of value Base.Set.t

You can see from the simplified code that Logical has all the base types as Ocaml(Int, Float, Str, Bool), but also has Var for variable declarations and Set for declaring sets in Logical.

State

State represents the current state of your program in Logical by storing the value of every used variable. It's kind of the same as stack frames in other languages.

State's signature:

type state = (variable * value) list

You can clearly see this in state's type decleration, where variable is a variable name and value is it's value. You can also see that we are storing multiple variables, because the assignments are stored in a list.

Goal

Goal is basically a function, which takes in a state and generates a stream of new states based on that state. The only twist is that sometimes we end up in invalid state(or deadend state), which is why sometimes we can't produce new state based on the input state.

You can see this in Goal's signature:

type goal = state -> state option Base.Sequence.t

Logical supports the following goals:

val equal : value -> value -> goal (* A = B *)

val either : goal -> goal -> goal (* A or B*)

val either_multi : goal list -> goal (* or [A,B,C,..,Y]*)

val both : goal -> goal -> goal (* A and B *)

val in_set : value -> value -> goal (* A in (A,B,C,...,Y) *)

You can see from the type declarations that there are two kinds of goals:

  • Basic building block, which expects 2 value and generates a goal. You can think of them as constructors for goals.
  • Goal combinators, which expects 2 goals and generates based on that a one new goal

How to use it?

General rules for using Logical:

  • Goal constructors are the most basic building block of every goal
  • Goals can be made bigger and more complex by combining them with goal combinators
  • Goals are inactive until you give them an initial state

equal

let equal_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "a") (Value.int 42)
let state_list = equal_goal State.empty |> Base.Sequence.to_list
(* state_list is [ Some[("a",Value.Int 42)] ]*)

In this case state_list only has one state were a is equal with 42.

either and either_multi

let a_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "a") (Value.int 42)
let b_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "b") (Value.int 21)
let either_goal = Goal.either a_goal b_goal
let state_list = either_goal State.empty |> Base.Sequence.to_list
(* state_list is [ Some[("a",Value.Int 42)]; Some[("b",Value.Int 21)] ]*)

In this case state_list has two states where:

  • a is equal with 42
  • b is equal with 21

either_multi is the same as either only more general, because it expects a list of goals.

let a_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "a") (Value.int 42)
let b_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "b") (Value.int 21)
let goal_list = [a_goal; b_goal]
let either_goal = Goal.either_multi goal_list
let state_list = either_goal State.empty |> Base.Sequence.to_list
(* state_list is [ Some[("a",Value.Int 42)]; Some[("b",Value.Int 21)] ]*)

both

let a_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "a") (Value.int 42)
let b_goal = Goal.equal (Value.var "b") (Value.int 21)
let both_goal = Goal.both a_goal b_goal
let state_list = both_goal State.empty |> Base.Sequence.to_list
(* state_list is [ Some[("b",Value.Int 21); ("a",Value.Int 42)] ]*)

In this case state_list has a state with two assignments where:

  • a is equal with 42
  • b is equal with 21

in_set

in_set goal is basically a sintactic sugar for an either_multi where every goal has the same variable.

let my_set = Base.Set.of_list (module Value.Comparator) [Value.int 42; Value.int 21]
let in_set_gaol = Goal.in_set (Value.var "a") (Value.set my_set)
let state_list = in_set_gaol State.empty |> Base.Sequence.to_list
(* state_list is [ Some[("a",Value.Int 42)]; Some[("a",Value.Int 21)] ]*)

In this case state_list has two states with the same variable(a) with two different values: 42 and 21

in_set goal is useful, when you want negation like x != 6, which is basically the same as x in (-infinity,..,5,7,...,infinity). From this example you can also see that in_set is only really useful on small finite domains, where the universal set is small and well defined.

Note

If you like reading code more than guides than you can find the example in the bin folder in this repository.

How to run the example?

Prerequisite: Install Esy

Run it: esy x example

How to for contributors

Prerequisite: Install Esy

Build it: esy

Test it: esy test

Run repl: esy utop

Generate Doc: esy doc

Update docs folder: esy update-doc

Notable resources

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