Fifty years of Prolog and beyond

Körner, Philipp, Leuschel, Michael, Barbosa, João, Santos Costa, Vítor, Dahl, Verónica, Hermenegildo, Manuel V., Morales, José F., Wielemaker, Jan, Díaz, Daniel, Abreu, Salvador and Ciatto, Giovanni (2022). Fifty years of Prolog and beyond. "Theory and Practice of Logic Programming", v. 22 (n. 6); pp. 776-858. ISSN 1475-3081.


Title: Fifty years of Prolog and beyond
  • Körner, Philipp
  • Leuschel, Michael
  • Barbosa, João
  • Santos Costa, Vítor
  • Dahl, Verónica
  • Hermenegildo, Manuel V.
  • Morales, José F.
  • Wielemaker, Jan
  • Díaz, Daniel
  • Abreu, Salvador
  • Ciatto, Giovanni
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Theory and Practice of Logic Programming
Date: 2022
ISSN: 1475-3081
Volume: 22
Freetext Keywords: Prolog, Logic programming systems, Portability, Rationale, Evolution, Vision
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos (UPM)
Department: Inteligencia Artificial
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Both logic programming in general and Prolog in particular have a long and fascinating history, intermingled with that of many disciplines they inherited from or catalyzed. A large body of research has been gathered over the last 50 years, supported by many Prolog implementations. Many implementations are still actively developed, while new ones keep appearing. Often, the features added by different systems were motivated by the interdisciplinary needs of programmers and implementors, yielding systems that, while sharing the “classic” core language, in particular, the main aspects of the ISO-Prolog standard, also depart from each other in other aspects. This obviously poses challenges for code portability. The field has also inspired many related, but quite different languages that have created their own communities. This article aims at integrating and applying the main lessons learned in the process of evolution of Prolog. It is structured into three major parts. First, we overview the evolution of Prolog systems and the community approximately up to the ISO standard, considering both the main historic developments and the motivations behind several Prolog implementations, as well as other logic programming languages influenced by Prolog. Then, we discuss the Prolog implementations that are most active after the appearance of the standard: their visions, goals, commonalities, and incompatibilities. Finally, we perform a SWOT analysis in order to better identify the potential of Prolog and propose future directions along with which Prolog might continue to add useful features, interfaces, libraries, and tools, while at the same time improving compatibility between implementations.

Funding Projects

Government of Spain
Rigorous methods for the development of software systems with certified quality and reliability
Madrid Regional Government
Contratos inteligentes y blockchains escalables y seguros mediante verificación y análisis

More information

Item ID: 72045
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.1017/S1471068422000102
Official URL:
Deposited by: Biblioteca Facultad de Informatica
Deposited on: 04 Nov 2022 10:10
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 09:00
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