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2022: The Year of Prolog
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Prolog

Call for Position Papers

Call for position papers celebrating the 50 year anniversary of Prolog, to be published by Springer in the LNAI series.

As part of the Year of Prolog celebrations, we are planning to publish a Volume in the Springer LNAI series, representing both the State of the Art and Visions for the Future. The Volume will be aimed at as large an audience as possible, at being as self-contained as possible, and at containing a minimum of technical details.

The Volume will be edited by Veronica Dahl, Thomas Eiter, Manuel Hermemegildo, Bob Kowalski and Francesca Rossi. All papers in the Volume will be reviewed by the Prolog Year Scientific Committee.

In addition to invited survey and position papers, and to extended versions of short-listed papers for the Alain Colmerauer Prize, the Volume will contain position papers submitted in response to an open call. The deadline for submitting a three-page (plus references) extended abstract is 9 September.

Papers should be submitted to https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=prolog50

Decisions will be announced on or before 30 September. Further deadlines for longer versions of selected papers will be announced later. The final version of papers (with all revisions incorporated) could be ready by the end of 2022, with publication in early 2023.

We anticipate that the Springer Volume will have the following structure and cover the following topics:

  • The volume will begin with an introduction to Prolog for beginners, both for novices with virtually no knowledge of logic or computing, and for experts in other areas of computing. It would aim to show “the beauty of Prolog”. For example, the consequence of relational programming, that the same definition can serve multiple goals as in the case of append/3 and that the same grammar can be used both for generation and for parsing/analysis. It would also highlight the ability to perform meta-reasoning and to “express code as data”. The introduction will present both the declarative and procedural readings of Prolog programs, as well as top-down vs. bottom-up execution of Prolog programs. It will also distinguish between those features of Prolog that arguably have a “pure” logical interpretation and those that may not, including for example:

    • assert and retract
    • cut
    • catch and throw?
    The introduction should also mention some of the extensions of Prolog that have proved to be most useful, e.g., tabling, constraints and probabilities.
  • What Prolog implementations are currently available? Which are most useful for teaching purposes? And which are most useful for serious applications? (The TPLP paper could provide the basis for this survey.)
  • How does Prolog differ from and relate to other kinds of computing?
    • imperative programming
    • functional programming
    • object-oriented programming
    • database languages
    • knowledge representation languages
    • program specification and modeling languages
  • What kinds of applications is Prolog most suited for?
  • To what extent do Prolog applications need the use of features that do not have a “pure” logical interpretation? Can such features be replaced by other features that have a declarative or logical interpretation?
  • What is Prolog NOT good for? How can we avoid wrong uses of Prolog?
  • Should we include a survey and analysis of Prolog applications?
  • Is the future of Prolog to be extended as a language for all application areas? If so, how should Prolog be extended? By introducing new semantic constructs for, say, procedural programming?
  • Or is the future of Prolog to be used in combination with other computer languages? If so, how should Prolog best be integrated with those other languages?
  • Even if Prolog might be suited for only some kinds of applications, is there a case for arguing that Prolog is the best way to introduce children and other beginners to Logic, Computational Thinking, AI and Computing more generally? For example, negation as failure was the inspiration for modern argumentation theory (Phan Minh Dung).
  • Is there a difference between the way Prolog should be taught to beginners and the way it should be taught to people who already know other computer languages?
  • Should we include a survey and analysis of Prolog teaching experiences? Success stories: with 10-year olds, 16-18 year-olds, the under-represented, people in humanistic areas, formal or informal education? Is there a road map for teaching Prolog (also split according to audience to be reached, and with specific subjects organized in pedagogically proven order)? Measures of success (e.g. projects derived in different schools for learning Prolog).
  • How does Prolog relate to ethical considerations? Does it help to make AI systems more interpretable and explainable? How does Prolog fit with evolving hardware (multicores, …)?
  • How can Prolog-like computing be combined with machine learning systems in AI?

Additional, more detailed list of themes for submissions specifically addressing Prolog Education and Prolog Thinking

  • Can Prolog be taught, or used in teaching, as a language for all application areas? For example, by being included in school curricula (if so, for audiences of what ages/background?), or through packaged materials that support teachers with other subjects than programming (such as taxonomy processors for teaching e.g. botany; language processors for teaching e.g. parts of speech, grammars, translation; planners to evaluate possible courses of action)
  • Is there a case for arguing that Prolog is the best way to introduce children and other beginners to logic, reasoning skills, programming skills, computational thinking, AI and Computing more generally?
  • Can, and should, Prolog be taught pre-high-school? If so, how? Is it reasonable, in particular, to teach Prolog to ten year olds, or is it too difficult, and why? What would we be adding that is not offered already by other paradigms of computing shown in some parts of the world to 10 year olds?
  • Should Prolog be taught to all CS students at college level, and if so, how? Should it be taught simultaneously with math (or other subjects), for mutual benefit? Should Logic in general and Computational Logic in particular be taught to all Computer Science students?
  • Is there a difference between the way Prolog should be taught to beginners and the way it should be taught to people who already know other computer languages?
  • Should we include a survey and analysis of Prolog teaching experiences? Success stories: with 10-year olds, 16-18 year-olds, the under-represented, people in humanistic areas,formal or informal education?
  • Is there a road map for teaching Prolog (also split according to audience to be reached, and with specific subjects organized in pedagogically proven order)? Measures of success (e.g. projects derived in different schools for learning Prolog).
  • Is teaching Prolog useful for computational thinking? How to do interesting logic without getting into the intricacies of quantifiers? (given that we only have universals, and all quantifiers are hidden from view). How does teaching Prolog relate to ethical literacy regarding computing? Does it help to question AI (or other, e.g. linguistic) systems that are biased, not interpretable, or not explainable?
Note: if you think you may have problems meeting the 9 September deadline, please let us (the editors) know.



The Year of Prolog and its activities, including the Alain Colmerauer Prize, are sponsored by the Association for Logic Programming, the Prolog Heritage Association, the AI Journal, Institut Carnot Cognition, and Institut Fredrik Bull, among others.