Robert Kowalski

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Bob Kowalski
Robert Kowalski.jpg
Born (1941-05-15) 15 May 1941 (age 76)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, US
Nationality British
Citizenship Naturalised British Citizen
Alma mater University of Chicago
University of Bridgeport
Stanford University
University of Warsaw
University of Edinburgh
Known for Logic programming
Event calculus
Awards IJCAI Award for Research Excellence (2011)
Scientific career
Fields Logic
Computer Science
Institutions University of Edinburgh
Imperial College London
Thesis Studies in the Completeness and Efficiency of Theorem-Proving by Resolution (1970)
Doctoral advisor Bernard Meltzer
Doctoral students David H. D. Warren
Keith Clark

Robert Anthony "Bob" Kowalski (born 15 May 1941) is a logician and computer scientist, who has spent most of his career in the United Kingdom.

Early life and education[edit]

He was educated at the University of Chicago, University of Bridgeport (BA in mathematics, 1963), Stanford University (MSc in mathematics, 1966), University of Warsaw and the University of Edinburgh (PhD in computer science, 1970).


He was a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh (1970–75) and has been at Imperial College London since 1975, attaining a chair in Computational logic in 1982 and becoming Emeritus Professor in 1999. He was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 1991, of the European Co-ordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence in 1999, and the Association for Computing Machinery in 2001.

He began his research in the field of automated theorem proving, developing both SL-resolution[2] with Donald Kuehner and the connection graph proof procedure.[3] However, he is best known for his contributions to the development of logic programming, starting with the procedural interpretation of Horn clauses.[4]

He also developed the minimal model and the fixpoint semantics of Horn clauses with Maarten van Emden.[5] With Marek Sergot, he developed both the event calculus[6] and the application of logic programming to legal reasoning.[7][8] With Fariba Sadri, he developed an agent model[9][10] in which beliefs are represented by logic programs and goals are represented by integrity constraints.

Kowalski was one of the early developers of Abductive Logic Programming, in which logic programs are augmented with integrity constraints and with undefined, abducible predicates.[11][12] This work led to the demonstration with Phan Minh Dung and Francesca Toni that most logics for default reasoning can be regarded as special cases of assumption-based argumentation.[13][14]


  • "Logic for Problem Solving", North Holland, Elsevier, 1979.
  • "Computational Logic and Human Thinking: How to be Artificially Intelligent", Cambridge University Press, 2011.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kowalski, R. and Kuehner, D., "Linear Resolution with Selection Function", in Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 2, 1971, pp. 227–260. Reprinted in Anthology of Automated Theorem-Proving Papers, Vol. 2, Springer-Verlag, 1983, pp. 542–577.
  3. ^ Kowalski, R., "A Proof Procedure Using Connection Graphs", in Journal of the ACM Vol. 22, No. 4, 1975, pp. 572–595.
  4. ^ Kowalski, R., "Predicate Logic as Programming Language", in Proceedings IFIP Congress, Stockholm, North Holland Publishing Co., 1974, pp. 569–574. Reprinted in Computers for Artificial Intelligence Applications, (eds. Wah, B. and Li, G.-J.), IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Angeles, 1986, pp. 68–73.
  5. ^ van Emden, M. and Kowalski, R., "The Semantics of Predicate Logic as a Programming Language", in Journal of the ACM, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1976, pp. 733–742.
  6. ^ Kowalski, R. and Sergot, M., "A Logic-based Calculus of Events", in New Generation Computing, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 1986, pp. 67–95. Also in Knowledge Base Management-Systems, (eds. C. Thanos and J. W. Schmidt), Springer-Verlag, pp. 23–51. Also in The Language of Time: A Reader (eds. Inderjeet Mani, J. Pustejovsky, and R. Gaizauskas). Oxford University Press, 2005.
  7. ^ Sergot, M., Sadri, F., Kowalski, R., Kriwaczek, F., Hammond, P., and Cory, T., "The British Nationality Act as a Logic Program", in Communications of the ACM, Vol. 29, No. 5, 1986, pp. 370–386.
  8. ^ Kowalski, R., "Legislation as Logic Programs", in Logic Programming in Action (eds. G. Comyn, N. E. Fuchs, M. J. Ratcliffe), Springer-Verlag, 1992, pp. 203–230.
  9. ^ Kowalski, R., "Using Metalogic to Reconcile Reactive with Rational Agents". In Meta-Logics and Logic Programming (K. Apt and F. Turini, eds.), MIT Press, 1995.
  10. ^ Kowalski, R. and Sadri, F., "From Logic Programming towards Multi-agent Systems", Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, Volume 25 (1999), pp. 391–419.
  11. ^ Eshghi, K.,and Kowalski, R., "Abduction through deduction". Department of Computing, Imperial College, 1988.
  12. ^ Kakas, T., Kowalski, K. and Toni, F., "Abductive Logic Programming". Journal of Logic and Computation, 1992, Vol. 2 No. 6, pp. 719–770.
  13. ^ Bondarenko, A., Dung, P. M., Kowalski, R., and Toni, F. " An Abstract Argumentation-theoretic Approach to Default Reasoning". Journal of Artificial Intelligence, 93(1–2), 1997, pp 63–101.
  14. ^ Dung, P. M., Kowalski, R., and Toni, F. "Dialectic proof procedures for assumption-based, admissible argumentation". Journal of Artificial Intelligence, 170(2), February 2006, pp. 114–159.

External links[edit]