OR-Parallel Logic Languages in Law Applications
Abstract: Prolog has been widely used as
a convenient language for encoding well-bounded areas of law. Present computers
are not suited to the execution of Prolog and future projects in law codification
may require many orders of magnitude improved Prolog performance. It is
accepted that the only way to obtain such performance is from parallel
machines. We are implementing an OR-parallel dialect of Prolog with the
aim of producing high absolute speed-ups on practical parallel architectures.
Law is an application area we are investigating for OR-parallelism. We
do not address the general problem of formalising legal reasoning: instead
our system would sift its way through large quantities of legislation and
case law for material relevant to an action, leaving subtle interpretations
to a legal expert. This style of breadth-first search is highly time consuming
for a conventional computer, but suits our OR-parallel approach to Prolog
exactly. We also indicate how Prolog can act as a uniform development environment
for a friendly language interface to legal systems. We conclude with some
advice about utilising parallel techniques in future legal advice systems.
Keywords: Prolog, OR-Parallelism, Law Applications
Appeared in: Proc. of the 3rd Intern. Cong. in Law and
Expert Systems, A.A.Martino (ed.), pp. 579-594, Florence, Italy, 1989
Available: Hardcopy on request from the authors. .
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