A Logical Theory of Localization

Vaishak Belle, Hector J. Levesque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A central problem in applying logical knowledge representation formalisms to traditional robotics is that the treatment of belief change is categorical in the former, while probabilistic in the latter. A typical example is the fundamental capability of localization where a robot uses its noisy sensors to situate itself in a dynamic world. Domain designers are then left with the rather unfortunate task of abstracting probabilistic sensors in terms of categorical ones, or more drastically, completely abandoning the inner workings of sensors to black-box probabilistic tools and then interpreting their outputs in an abstract way. Building on a first-principles approach by Bacchus, Halpern and Levesque, and a recent continuous extension to it by Belle and Levesque, we provide an axiomatization that shows how localization can be realized wrt a basic action theory, thereby demonstrating how such capabilities can be enabled in a single logical framework. We then show how the framework can also enable localization for multiple agents, where an agent can appeal to the sensing already performed by another agent and the knowledge of their relative positions to localize itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-772
Number of pages32
JournalStudia Logica
Issue number4
Early online date22 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


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