If there’s one thing 3 years of law school and 5 years of building a legal career has taught me, it’s the fallacy of sunk costs. I’ve put a lot of effort into the logic engine of this site – and I’ve even thought it was complete. But this variable transference problem has led me to see just how much I’m limiting myself by trying to make a custom-built logic engine. I tried entering the troublesome statements in prolog and they worked without a problem.
At the same time, I’ve come up with solutions to some of the problems I was worried about in terms of conversions to/from natural language. One big problem, however, is that prolog, from what I can tell, does not automatically “figure things out” – i.e. come up with conclusions that follow from known statements. So the existing logic engine may have a use in that regard, perhaps just entering statements from what is already known. Another concern is that it would have been easy to set a computation limit in the custom system to prevent excessive calculation (which will undoubtedly become an issue at some point), and I’m not sure how this would work in prolog.
So the custom logic engine may return some day, but for now I think using prolog will breathe new life into the project.
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