Action Language BC: Preliminary Report / 983
Joohyung Lee, Vladimir Lifschitz, Fangkai Yang

The action description languages B and C have significant common core. Nevertheless, some expressive possibilities of B are difficult or impossible to simulate in C, and the other way around. The main advantage of B is that it allows the user to give Prolog-style recursive definitions, which is important in applications. On the other hand, B solves the frame problem by incorporating the commonsense law of inertia in its semantics, which makes it difficult to talk about fluents whose behavior is described by defaults other than inertia. In C and in its extension C+, the inertia assumption is expressed by axioms that the user is free to include or not to include, and other defaults can be postulated as well. This paper defines a new action description language, called BC, that combines the attractive features of B and C. Examples of formalizing commonsense domains discussed in the paper illustrate the expressive capabilities of BC and the use of answer set solvers for the automation of reasoning about actions described in this language.