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What Is Visual Prolog?

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  • Written By: Jean Marie Asta
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An advanced programming language, Visual Prolog® is used for a variety of purposes. One main use is in programming of neural networks and systems with artificial intelligence (AI). It also has applications in creating lifelike computer generated imagery (CGI).

Visual Prolog® is high level programming language, meaning that it has more in common with written English than with the denser language understood by machines. The programmer writes a program in Visual Prolog® code. Then, the development environment uses a compiler to translate the program instructions into machine code that the computer can process.

This language has many features that make it useful to programmers wishing to create complex neural networks or other forms of artificial intelligence. It supports data classification, including pattern matching and algebraic data types. It also has automatic memory management capabilities and can be run on a Microsoft® Windows® operating system.

Prolog is short for "programming with logic," and is, as expected, a logical programming language. Visual Prolog® evolved from this predecessor and also incorporates object-oriented and functional programming features. The advantage for AI programmers is that the language lets them make use of a logical framework in which their data exists. This is opposed to manually programming how the data interact with one another on a case by case scenario.

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To get started writing in Visual Prolog® a programmer needs only to download the free developer software available online from the Prolog Development Center (PDC). This company has been developing software and other solutions for programmers who use Prolog for almost three decades. PDC's website also offers advanced versions of the software, which include features that make it easier to use.

Visual Prolog® is one of many programming languages that can aid in the creation of expert systems. These are forms of software that feature some degree of artificial or simulated intelligence. Standard programming languages such as C and its related languages can be used to create expert systems as well. Expert systems software applications have seen considerable growth and are commonly used for many forms of research as well as in home computer applications such as video games.

As the number of situations where artificial intelligence can be used grows and evolves, knowledge of AI-friendly programming languages becomes more vital to a software developer. Visual Prolog® and the development environment used to program it have become more advanced and have evolved with the development of AI. Programmers wishing to work in the AI field would do well to learn this language.

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