Strong Equivalence for Epistemic Logic Programs Made Easy
Epistemic Logic Programs (ELPs), that is, Answer Set Programming (ASP) extended with epistemic operators, have received renewed interest in recent years, which led to a flurry of new research, as well as efficient solvers. An important question is under which conditions a sub-program can be replaced by another one without changing the meaning, in any context. This problem is known as strong equivalence, and is well-studied for ASP. For ELPs, this question has been approached by embedding them into epistemic extensions of equilibrium logics. In this paper, we consider a simpler, more direct characterization that is directly applicable to the language used in state-of-the-art ELP solvers. This also allows us to give tight complexity bounds, showing that strong equivalence for ELPs remains coNP-complete, as for ASP. We further use our results to provide syntactic characterizations for tautological rules and rule subsumption for ELPs.