Herbrand structure
In First-order logic, a Herbrand structure S is a structure over a vocabulary σ, that is defined solely by the syntactical properties of σ. The idea is to take the symbols of terms as their values, e.g. the denotation of a constant symbol c is just 'c' (the symbol).
Herbrand structures play an important role in the foundations of logic programming.
Herbrand universe
Definition
Herbrand universe will serve as the universe in Herbrand structure.
(1) The Herbrand universe of a first order language L^{σ}, is the set of all ground terms of L^{σ}. If the language has no constants, then the language is extended by adding an arbitrary new constant.
- It is enumerable, and infinitely countable if a function symbol of arity greater than 0 exists.
- In the context of first order languages we also speak simply of the Herbrand universe of the vocabulary σ.
(2) The Herbrand universe of a closed formula in Skolem normal form F, is the set of all terms without variables, that can be constructed using the function symbols and constants of F. If F has no constants, then F is extended by adding an arbitrary new constant.
- Latter definition is important in the context of computational resolution.
Example
Let L^{σ} be a first order language with the vocabulary
- constant symbols: c
- function symbols: f(.), g(.)
then the Herbrand universe of L^{σ} (or σ) is {c, f(c), g(c), f(f(c)), f(g(c)), g(f(c)), g(g(c)), ...}.
Notice, that the relation symbols are not relevant for a Herbrand universe.
Herbrand structure
A Herbrand structure defines terms on top of a Herbrand universe.
Definition
Let S be a structure, with vocabulary σ and universe U. Let T be the set of all terms over σ and T_{0} be the subset of all variable-free terms. S is said to be a Herbrand structure iff
- U = T_{0}
- f^{S}(t_{1}, ..., t_{n}) = f(t_{1}, ..., t_{n}) for every n-ary function symbol f ∈ σ and t_{1}, ..., t_{n} ∈ T_{0}
- c^{S} = c for every constant c ∈ σ
Remarks
- U is the Herbrand universe of σ.
- A Herbrand structure that is a model of a theory T, is called the Herbrand model of T.
Examples
For a constant symbol c and a 1-ary function symbol f(.) we have the following interpretation:
- U = { c, fc, ffc, fffc, ...}
- fc -> fc, ffc -> ffc, ...
- c -> c
Herbrand base
In addition to the universe, defined in Herbrand universe, and the term denotations, defined in Herbrand structure, the Herbrand base completes the interpretation by denoting the relation symbols.
Definition
A Herbrand base is the set of all ground atoms of whose argument terms are the Herbrand universe.
Examples
For a 2-ary relation symbol R, we get with the terms from above:
{ R(c, c), R(fc, c), R(c, fc), R(fc, fc), R(ffc, c), ...}
See also
- Herbrand's theorem, Herbrand theory
- Herbrandization
- Herbrand interpretation
- Herbrand universe
- Herbrand base
References
- Ebbinghaus, Heinz-Dieter; Flum, Jörg; Thomas, Wolfgang (1996). Mathematical Logic. Springer. ISBN 978-0387942582.