Modelling prolog control

Roberto Barbuti, Michael Codish, Roberto Giacobazzi, Giorgio Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

13 Scopus citations


The goal of this paper is to construct a semantic basis for the abstract interpretation of Prolog programs. Prolog is a well-known logic programming language which applies a depth-first search strategy in order to provide a practical approximation of Horn clause logic. While pure logic programming has clean fixpoint, model-theoretic and operational semantics the situation for Prolog is different. Difficulties in capturing the declarative meaning of Prolog programs have led to various semantic definitions which attempt to encode the search strategy in different mathematical frameworks. However, semantic based analyses of Prolog are typically achieved by abstracting the more simple but less precise declarative semantics of pure logic programs. We propose instead to model Prolog control in a simple constraint logic language which is presented together with its declarative and operational semantics. This enables us to maintain the usual approach to declarative semantics of logic programs while capturing control aspects such as search strategy and selection rule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-603
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Logic and Computation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Logic programming
  • Program analysis
  • Prolog
  • Semantics
  • Termination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Logic


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