When Logical Conclusions Do Not Hold True. Inference rules are called nonmonotonic when they allow intelligent systems "to augment their beliefs by new ones that do not logically follow from their explicit ones" and this or another inference may have to be retracted.
Ordinary inference rules are monotonic "because the set of theorems derivable from premises is not reduced by adding to the premises."
– from Logical foundations of artificial intelligence by MR Genesereth and NJ Nilsson (1987)
Rule-based ethical theories like Kant's appear to be promising for machine ethics because of the computational structure of their judgments. The ethical judgment is then an outcome of the consistency test, in light of the supplied rules. While this kind of test can generate nontrivial results, it might do no more than reflect the prejudices of the builder of the declarative set; the machine will "reason" straightforwardly, but not intelligently. This article is part of a special issue on Machine Ethics.
Selecting extended logic programming with the answer-set semantics as a "generic" nonmonotonic logic, we show how that logic defines preferred belief sets and how preferred belief sets allow us to represent and interpret normative statements. Conflicts among program rules (more generally, defaults) give rise to alternative preferred belief sets. Finally, we comment on formalisms which explicitly represent preferences on properties of belief sets. Such formalisms either build preference information directly into rules and modify the semantics of the logic appropriately, or specify preferences on belief sets independently of the mechanism to define them.
It is possible to argue, relatively convincingly, that any research topic only begins to become mature when it appears on a syllabus somewhere. Once the topic has become well enough understood that it can be explained easily to paying customers, and stable enough that anyone teaching it is not likely to have to update his/her teaching materials every few months as new developments are reported, it can be considered to have arrived. Another reasonable indicator of the maturity of a subject, a milestone along the road to academic respectability, is the publication of a really good book on the subject -- not another research monograph but a book that consolidates what is already known, surveys and relates existing ideas, and maybe even unifies some of them. Grigoris Antoniou's Nonmonotonic Reasoning is just such a milestone -- well written, informative, and a good source of information on an important and complex subject.
The Seventh International Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning was held in Trento, Italy, on 30 May to 1 June 1998 in conjunction with the Sixth International Conference on the Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR-98). The workshop was sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Compulog, Associazione Italiana per l'Intelligenza Artificiale, and the Prolog Development Center.
The Sixth International Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning was held 10 to 12 June 1996 in Timberline, Oregon. The aim of the workshop was to bring together active researchers interested in nonmonotonic reasoning to discuss current research, results, and problems of both a theoretical and a practical nature.
The Fourth International Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning brought together active researchers in nonmonotonic reasoning to discuss current research, results, and problems of both theoretical and practical natures. There was lively discussion on a number of issues, including future research directions for the field.
Decision theory and nonmonotonic logics are formalisms that can be employed to represent and solve problems of planning under uncertainty. We analyze the usefulness of these two approaches by establishing a simple correspondence between the two formalisms. The analysis indicates that planning using nonmonotonic logic comprises two decision-theoretic concepts: probabilities (degrees of belief in planning hypotheses) and utilities (degrees of preference for planning outcomes). We present and discuss examples of the following lessons from this decision-theoretic view of nonmonotonic reasoning: (1) decision theory and nonmonotonic logics are intended to solve different components of the planning problem; (2) when considered in the context of planning under uncertainty, nonmonotonic logics do not retain the domain-independent characteristics of classical (monotonic) logic; and (3) because certain nonmonotonic programming paradigms (for example, frame-based inheritance, nonmonotonic logics) are inherently problem specific, they might be inappropriate for use in solving certain types of planning problems.