Meta-Interpretive Learning (MIL) is a recent Inductive Logic Programming technique aimed at supporting learning of recursive definitions.
A powerful and novel aspect of MIL is that when learning a predicate definition it automatically introduces sub-definitions, allowing decomposition into a hierarchy of reuseable parts. MIL is based on an adapted version of a Prolog meta-interpreter. Normally such a meta-interpreter derives a proof by repeatedly fetching first-order Prolog clauses whose heads unify with a given goal. By contrast, a meta-interpretive learner additionally fetches higher-order meta-rules whose heads unify with the goal, and saves the resulting meta-substitutions to form a program.
This talk will overview theoretical and implementational advances in this new area including the ability to learn Turing computabale functions within a constrained subset of logic programs, the use of probabilistic representations within Bayesian meta-interpretive and techniques for minimising the number of meta-rules employed.
The talk will also summarise applications of MIL including the learning of regular and context-free grammars, learning from visual representions with repeated patterns, learning string transformations for spreadsheet applications, learning and optimising recursive robot strategies and learning tactics for proving correctness of programs. The talk will conclude by pointing to the many challenges which remain to be addressed within this new area.