Based on the web page by Josh Hodas, written 26 July 1995. Recent updates by Dale Miller.
Lolli is a logic programming language based on a fragment of linear logic. As such it allows the programmer to exercise a significant degree of control over the pattern of use of certain program clauses (or resources) during proof search. The language was designed by Josh Hodas and Dale Miller and is described in the papers listed below.
Logic Programming in Intuitionistic Linear Logic: Theory, Design, and Implementation, by Joshua S. Hodas, Ph.D. Dissertation from University of Pennsylvania, Department of Computer and Information Science, May 1994. Available as University of Pennsylvania Technical Reports MS-CIS-92-28 or LINC LAB 269 (Postscript).
See also: Overview of linear logic programming, by Dale Miller. Accepted as a chapter in the book Linear Logic in Computer Science, edited by Thomas Ehrhard, Jean-Yves Girard, Paul Ruet, and Phil Scott. Cambridge University Press. (PostScript, DVI, PDF). An older survey article is also available.
Hodas has implemented a version of Lolli for version 0.93 of Standard ML of New Jersey and released it in 1992. Version 0.701 of Lolli is available with the source code for the interpreter and examples of Lolli sources.
It seems that the most active implementation effort on Lolli now is being done on the language and compiler called LLP at Kobe University.
One way to understand Lolli is as a refinement of the logic of the
extends the logic of horn clauses by allowing the use of implication
not just in clauses, but also in goals. (This is just one of several
significant ways that
extends Prolog. It also offers higher-order unification, arbitrarily
scoped quantifiers, and types, to name just a few of its features.)
The meaning of the goal
is based on the bottom-up reading of the standard rule for proving an
implication formula in intuitionistic logic:
That is, the system should first load the clause D into the current program, and then try to prove the goal G using the augmented program.
There are two important differences between implication goals in
and the use of
assert in Prolog. First, whereas any logic
variables contained in a clause added using
automatically closed with a universal quantifier, the variables in a clause
added using an implication are not. So, the interpreter must be prepared to
deal with live logic variables in the program. Second, regardless of whether
the goal G suceeds or fails, the assumed clause is discharged as soon
as the proof attempt is finished. Thus the assumption is scoped only over the
While the use of intuitionistic implications to augment the goal language has been used to great success, two papers published in 1991 showed the limitations of this approach:
Representing Objects in a Logic Programming Language with Scoping Constructs, by Joshua S. Hodas and Dale Miller. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Logic Programming, Jerusalem, June 1990. David H. D. Warren and Peter Szeredi, eds. pp. 511-526 M.I.T. Press.
Prolog is, as described above, the parent of Lolli. It is based on the logic of Higher-Order Hereditary Harrop Formulas, a fragment of ordinary (that is, not Linear) Intuitionistic logic. It extends Prolog in two directions. The term language is extended to allow arbitrary -terms with full higher-order unification. The formula language is extended to allow use of arbitrarily nested universal quantifiers and implications. The use of the latter is described above. Prolog was proposed and developed by Dale Miller and Gopalan Nadathur.
In order to determine whether a logic more expressive than Horn clauses (the logic of Prolog) could still be seen as the foundation of a logic programming language, Miller and Nadathur carefully analyzed the notion of goal-directedness and made the following definition. A proof is goal directed (or, in their words, uniform) if whenever a sequent has a non-atomic formula as its right hand side (that is, as the goal) then the rule used at that point is the one to decompose the goal. Logic programming, as distinct from theorem proving, can be seen as the search for uniform proofs. A logic is appropriate as a foundation of a logic programming language if uniform proofs are complete for that logic.
This idea, in one form or another, underlies the design of all of the languages mentioned here.
Forum is an extension to Lolli. Unlike Lolli, and Prolog, however, it is based on the multiple-conclusion (classical) system rather than the intuitionistic one. Since there can be multiple goals active at once, it is natural to think of Forum as representing a parallel computation, rather than simply a sequential one.
The design of Forum required extending the notion of Uniform Proof to the multiple-conclusion setting. Miller made the natural choice, saying that a multiple-conclusion proof is uniform if, when there is a non-atomic goal on the right hand side, the last rule acts to decompose one such goal. Further, for uniform proofs to be said to be complete, it must be that any of the non-atomic goals could be decomposed at that point.
While Miller was guided by the notion of uniform proof in his design of Forum, he was not designing a programming language. As such, goal directed proofs (as defined by uniformity) only go so far. In particular, the language allows one to provide a "program" clause that has the operator (one of Linear Logic's two falsehoods) as its head. Such a clause can be used to backchain for any atomic goal. This will inevitably lead to endless loops in any depth-first implementation. At present Miller, Hodas, and Jeff Polakow are analyzing Forum to identify the fragment that makes sense as a logic programming language. A preliminary implementation will be available shortly.
LO were the earliest proposals for a Linear Logic based logic programming logic. Like Forum it is based on a multiple-conclusion fragment of Linear Logic, and its design was motivated by the desire to implement a parallel, object-oriented language. The fragment of Linear Logic used is quite small. It essentially extends Horn clauses by allowing the heads of clauses to be formed not just of atoms, but of multisets of atoms joined by the par operator. Thus LO execution can be seen as largely multi-set rewriting. Linlog extends LO by adding several additional operators. In fact, like Forum, the fragment is complete for Linera Logic. It's operational flavor is determinde by a notion of goal-directed proofs called Focusing Proofs which are closely related to Uniform Proofs. LO and LinLog were proposed and developed by Jean-Marc Andreoli and Remo Pareschi.
Lygon is a Linear Logic programming language based on a fragment of multiple-conclusion (classical) linear logic. Like the other languages described here the logic fragment that underlies the language was chosen based on the requirement that uniform proofs (goal directed proofs) be complete for that fragment. However, the definition of uniform proof chosen differs from that used in the design of Forum. In particular, whereas Forum requires that a sequent be provable only if any non-atomic formula on the right hand side can be selected for decomposition, Lygon requires only that some such formula be selectable. Lygon was first proposed by James Harland and David Pym.
The first paper in which the motivations for and design of Lolli were presented. This paper was rewritten and significantly expanded (including a much clearer presentation of the logic) for the following paper, and should be read only for historical interest.
An extended and rewritten version of the previous paper, this one lays out the motivations for developing Lolli, then details the logic and meta-theory of the language, and finally presents a series of examples of its use.
Hodas' dissertation can be viewed as a greatly expanded version of the Information and Computation paper. The logic and meta-theory are presented in detail with full proofs; more and longer examples are given, and the implementation of the language is discussed at length. Also included are a presentation of a more optimized (less non-deterministic) version of the operational semantics of Lolli (this is the semantics of the first public release of the language), as well as a proposed extension of Lolli to allow direct specification of the Affine and Relevant constarints.
This short paper is a good introduction to the logic and syntax of Lolli, particularly for those already familiar with Prolog.
Specifying Filler-Gap Dependency Parsers in a Linear-Logic Programming Language, by Joshua S. Hodas, Proceedings of the 1992 Joint International Conference and Symposium on Logic Programming, Washington D.C., November 1992. Krystopf Apt, ed. MIT Press.
Logic Programming with Multiple Context Management Schemes, by Joshua S. Hodas, Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Extensions of Logic Programming, St. Andrews, Scotland, March/April 1993. Roy Dyckhoff, ed. Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 798, 1994.