OR-Parallel Logic Languages in Law Applications

T.J.Reynolds and P. Kefalas 
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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