Skolemization for Weighted First-Order Model Counting

Guy Van den Broeck, Wannes Meert, Adnan Darwiche

First-order model counting emerged recently as a novel reasoning task, at the core of efficient algorithms for probabilistic logics. We present a Skolemization algorithm for model counting problems that eliminates existential quantifiers from a first-order logic theory without changing its weighted model count. For certain subsets of first-order logic, lifted model counters were shown to run in time polynomial in the number of objects in the domain of discourse, where propositional model counters require exponential time. However, these guarantees apply only to Skolem normal form theories (i.e., no existential quantifiers) as the presence of existential quantifiers reduces lifted model counters to propositional ones. Since textbook Skolemization is not sound for model counting, these restrictions precluded efficient model counting for directed models, such as probabilistic logic programs, which rely on existential quantification. Our Skolemization procedure extends the applicability of first-order model counters to these representations. Moreover, it simplifies the design of lifted model counting algorithms.

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