Nonmonotonic causal theories

Enrico Giunchiglia, Joohyung Lee, Vladimir Lifschitz, Norman McCain, Hudson Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

355 Scopus citations


The nonmonotonic causal logic defined in this paper can be used to represent properties of actions, including actions with conditional and indirect effects, nondeterministic actions, and concurrently executed actions. It has been applied to several challenge problems in the theory of commonsense knowledge. We study the relationship between this formalism and other work on nonmonotonic reasoning and knowledge representation, and discuss its implementation, called the Causal Calculator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-104
Number of pages56
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
EventLogical Formalizations and Commonsense Reasoning - New York, NY, United States
Duration: May 1 2001May 1 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Varol Akman, Ernest Davis, Esra Erdem, Neelakantan Kartha, Leora Morgenstern, Maurice Pagnucco and the anonymous referees for useful comments. Enrico Giunchiglia was partially supported by ASI, CNR and MUIR. Joohyung Lee and Vladimir Lifschitz were partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant IIS-9732744 and by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board under Grant 003658-0322-2001. Hudson Turner was partially supported by the National Science Foundation under CAREER Grant 0091773.


  • Action languages
  • Causality
  • Commonsense reasoning
  • Knowledge representation
  • Nonmonotonic reasoning
  • Reasoning about actions


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