Temporalizing Epistemic Default Logic

Wiebe van der Hoek, John Jules Meyer, Jan Treur

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We present an epistemic default logic, based on the metaphore of a meta-level architecture. Upward reflection is formalized by a nonmonotonic entailment relation, based on the objective facts that are either known or unknown at the object level. Then, the meta (monotonic) reasoning process generates a number of “default-beliefs” of object-level formulas. We extend this framework by proposing a mechanism to reflect these defaults down. Such a reflection is seen as essentially having a temporal flavour: defaults derived at the meta-level are projected as facts in a “next” object level state. In this way, we obtain temporal models for default reasoning in meta-level formalisms which can be conceived as labeled branching trees. Thus, descending the tree corresponds to shifts in time that model downward reflection, whereas the branching of the tree corresponds to ways of combining possible defaults. All together, this yields an operational or procedural semantics of reasoning by default, which admits one to reason about it by means of branching-time temporal logic. Finally, we define sceptical and credulous entailment relations based on these temporal models and we characterize Reiter extensions in our semantics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341–367
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Logic, Language and Information
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Default reasoning
  • Epistemic states
  • Meta-level architectures
  • Temporal models


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