What Does Prolog Mean?

Programmation en Logique (Programming in Logic) or Prolog is a high-level programming language that has its roots in first-order logic or first-order predicate calculus. The language was conceived in Marseilles, France in the early 1970s by a group led by Alain Colmerauer. It is one of the first logic programming languages and it remains popular today. It is a programming language commonly associated with computational linguistics and artificial intelligence and is used in expert systems, theorem proving and pattern matching over natural language parse trees and natural language processing.


Techopedia Explains Prolog

The first Prolog system was developed in 1972 by Colmerauer together with Philippe Roussel and was based on Robert Kowalski’s procedural interpretation of Horn clauses. It was also partly motivated by the desire to reconcile the use of logic as a declarative knowledge representation language with procedural representation of knowledge. Prolog was purposely developed for natural language processing – concerned with computer and human (natural) language interactions.

Prolog differs from other programming languages as it is declarative rather than sequences of commands. It is sometimes called a rule-based or declarative language since it is expressed in terms of relationships among objects' properties, presented as facts and rules. A computation is initiated by running a query over these relations.

Applications include:

  • Machine learning
  • Robot planning
  • Automated reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Intelligent database retrieval
  • Natural language understanding
  • Specification language

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.