September 23 – 27 , 1996, Dagstuhl Seminar 9639

Logic Databases and the Meaning of Change


J. Bocca, H. Decker, M. Kifer, A. Voronkov

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Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl-Seminar-Report 157


This report gives account of the seminar on Logic Databases and The Meaning of Change, held at the marvelous conference and research center of Dagstuhl, in the last week of September 1996. The seminar attracted a total of 36 invited researchers in the field, from 14 countries. Each of the participants contributed to the seminar by giving talks, demonstrations and/or participating in lively discussions which followed upon every presentation. Particular highlights included talks on the Situation Calculus (Monday), on Transaction Logic (Tuesday), on Active Databases (Wednesday), as well as on Abductive, Inductive and other, more involved inference techniques. Not surprisingly, the most frequently addressed topics are named by the keywords Updates, Transactions, and Integrity.

Often, discussions after presentations did not cease during breaks for coffee and lunch, and always continued well into the evenings. Exchanges of opinions and points of view were favorably stimulated by the well-appreciated personal atmosphere of the by-now famous Dagstuhl wine cellar and other locations in the Schloss. Apart from many productive sessions in the wine cellar, some particularly vivid debates and interchanges of views were witnessed during several open forum discussions, scheduled on the last two days of the seminar week. Topics were The Frame Problem, View Updating and, finally, Future Directions and Expectations in the field. Originally, the plan was to have panels with statements of contending convictions by selected panelists. However, it turned out that, fortunately, no separation between opinion leaders and followers was needed. Rather, several contrasting or sympathetic beliefs were spoken out freely by a large number of participants. No general consensus was achieved (of course, not), but many felt enriched after having been exposed to a rich diversity of very interesting, engagingly articulated points of view.

Besides the very well-received session with demonstrations of implemented knowledge-based systems, agreeable divertissement was provided for by the numerous free time facilities at the Dagstuhl center, as well as by an enjoyable excursion to the Saarschleife (a near-by natural sight-seeing area), which was followed by a visit to the Villeroy & Boch ceramics manufacturing plant.

Many thanks are due to the friendly staff at the Dagstuhl office in Saarbr¨ucken as well as at the Schloss, for everything they have done to enable a smooth organization of the seminar week, to establish a perfect ambiance at their idyllic location, and to prepare some excellent food.


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