Towards Explainable Inference about Object Motion using Qualitative Reasoning

Ge, Xiaoyu (The Australian National University) | Renz, Jochen (The Australian National University) | Hua, Hua (The Australian National University)

AAAI Conferences 

The capability of making explainable inferences regarding physical processes has long been desired. One fundamental physical process is object motion. Inferring what causes the motion of a group of objects can even be a challenging task for experts, e.g., in forensic science. Most of the work in the literature rely on physics simulation to draw such inferences. The simulation requires a precise model of the underlying domain to work well and is essentially a black-box from which one can hardly obtain any useful explanation. By contrast, qualitative reasoning methods have the advantage in making transparent inferences with ambiguous information, which makes it suitable for this task. However, there has been no suitable qualitative theory proposed for object motion in three-dimensional space. We take this challenge and develop a qualitative theory for the motion of rigid objects. Based on this theory, we develop a reasoning method to solve a very interesting problem: Assuming there are several objects that were initially at rest and now have started to move. We want to infer what action causes the movement of these objects.