Skip to main content

Explanations for Negative Query Answers under Existential Rules

İsmail İlkan Ceylan‚ Thomas Lukasiewicz‚ Enrico Malizia‚ Cristian Molinaro and Andrius Vaicenavičius


Ontology-mediated query answering is an extensively studied paradigm, where the conceptual knowledge provided by an ontology is leveraged towards a more enhanced querying of data sources. A major advantage of ontological reasoning is its interpretability, which allows one to derive explanations for query answers. Indeed, explanations have a long history in knowledge representation, and have also been investigated for ontology languages based on description logics and existential rules. Existing works on existential rules, however, merely focus on understanding why a query is entailed, i.e., explaining positive query answers. In this paper, we continue this line of research and address another important problem, namely, explaining why a query is not entailed under existential rules, i.e., explaining negative query answers, inspired by earlier studies based on description logics. We consider various problems related to explaining non-entailments from the abduction literature, and also introduce new problems. For all considered problems, we give a thorough complexity analysis for a wide range of existential rule languages and complexity measures.

Book Title
Proceedings of 17th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning‚ KR 2020‚ Rhodes‚ Greece‚ September 12−18‚ 2020
Diego Calvanese and Esra Erdem
AAAI Press