Horn clause

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In the clausal form of logic, an expression of the form

A if B1 and B2 and … and Bn

This should be contrasted with the general form of clause

A1 or A2 or … or Am


B1 and B2 and … and Bn

where A1 … Am are the alternative conclusions and B1 … Bn are the joint conditions. A Horn clause is a special case of this general form in that it contains at most one conclusion.

Horn clauses were first investigated by the logician Alfred Horn. The majority of formalisms employed in computer programming bear greater resemblance to Horn clauses than to the more general form. The logic programming language Prolog is based upon the Horn clause subset of logic.

Subjects: Computing.

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