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Logic is the missing link in information management

Ronald Fuller
Presented at the 2016 Joint Mathematics Meetings; published abstract.

People who manage information have known since the 1970s that logic can be used to query information in databases, but the use of logic to  organize information is not well understood by modern practitioners. Frike [1] states ”A greatly underappreciated and unused theoretical background to the organization of information is that of symbolic logic. (The monumental and authoritative Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition, 2009, does not have an entry for logic in its 6,856 pages ...)” (p 121). Yet effective methods of using logic to organize information were developed more than 700 years ago. This session will discuss the following: (a) how the system of interconnected books used in double-entry bookkeeping since the 13th century is precisely consistent with the relational model and, therefore, first-order logic; (b) how cultural and historical factors have undermined modern recognition of important principles and the effective use of logic in organizations; and (c) how logic education and practical application can help enterprise organizations overcome their most difficult and costly challenges in information management.

[1]  Martin Fricke,  Logic and the Organization of Information (Springer, 2012)