JOURNAL of Logic and Computation - SPECIAL ISSUE on
"Abduction, Induction, and Scientific Knowledge Development"

Recent advances in computing, robotics, and the internet are starting to have a significant impact on the way scientific research is now being conducted. This Special Issue aims to examine the potential directions of such a revolution and to discuss some of the ways in which computational logic could play an important role. In particular, it will focus on two key types of inference which, for over a century, philosophers of science have termed abduction and induction.

The nature of these reasoning forms has previously been addressed in an edited volume called Abduction and Induction: Essays on their Relation and Integration. More recent work in applying these techniques within the fields of artificial intelligence and scientific discovery was the subject of an IJCAI'09 worksop on Abductive & Inductive Knowledge Development. This Special Issue is composed of papers derived from the talks presented at that workshop.

The specific aim of this work is explore a new generation of logical techniques aimed at assisting the continual evolution of knowledge in real-world applications. Its particular emphasis is on the use of abductive and inductive logics to formalise and automate the incremental cycle of knowledge development which arises in many domains. We are, therefore, particularly interested in (scientific and everyday) tasks involving some form of

  • on-line (as opposed to just off-line) interaction
  • active (as opposed to just passive) learning
  • revising (as opposed to just completing) theories
  • collaborative (as opposed to just autonomous) problem solving
  • evaluating (as opposed to just generating) hypotheses
  • 21st century (as opposed to just 19th century) science
  • real (as opposed to just toy) applications
  • embodied (as opposed to just conceptual) intelligence


AIAI'09 participants are invited to send longer versions of their papers (prepared with the same IJCAI style files) to by 30th April 2011. All papers will then be sent for independent review. Comments and notification will be returned to authors by 15th June, 2011. Note that papers should be specifically written for the special issue: this means they should address some of the themes deiscussed above and contain significant content not previously puplished in a journal.

Apr 30th, 2011Paper submission deadline
Jun 15th, 2011Notification of acceptance
Oliver Ray (Primary Contact)
Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, UK
Antonis Kakas
Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Peter Flach
Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, UK

(c) Oliver Ray, last updated 06/03/2011