Research in belief revision has been dominated by work that lies firmly within the classic AGM paradigm, characterized by a well-known set of postulates governing the behavior of "rational" revision functions. A postulate that is rarely criticized is the success postulate: the result of revising by an observed proposition results in belief in. This postulate, however, is often undesirable in settings where an agent's observations may be imprecise or noisy. We propose a semantics that captures a new ontology for studying revision functions, which can handle noisy observations in a natural way while retaining the classical AGM model as a special case. We present a characterization theorem for our semantics, and describe a number of natural specialcases that allow ease of specification and reasoning with revision functions. In particular, by making the Markov assumption, we can easily specify and reason about revision.

We consider a living organism as an observer of the evolution of its environment recording sensory information about the state space X of the environment in real time. Sensory information is sampled and then processed on two levels. On the biological level, the organism serves as an evaluation mechanism of the subjective relevance of the incoming data to the observer: the observer assigns excitation values to events in X it could recognize using its sensory equipment. On the algorithmic level, sensory input is used for updating a database, the memory of the observer whose purpose is to serve as a geometric/combinatorial model of X, whose nodes are weighted by the excitation values produced by the evaluation mechanism. These values serve as a guidance system for deciding how the database should transform as observation data mounts. We define a searching problem for the proposed model and discuss the model's flexibility and its computational efficiency, as well as the possibility of implementing it as a dynamic network of neuron-like units. We show how various easily observable properties of the human memory and thought process can be explained within the framework of this model. These include: reasoning (with efficiency bounds), errors, temporary and permanent loss of information. We are also able to define general learning problems in terms of the new model, such as the language acquisition problem.

Hunter, Aaron, Delgrande, James

We consider the iterated belief change that occurs following an alternating sequence of actions and observations. At each instant, an agent has beliefs about the actions that have occurred as well as beliefs about the resulting state of the world. We represent such problems by a sequence of ranking functions, so an agent assigns a quantitative plausibility value to every action and every state at each point in time. The resulting formalism is able to represent fallible belief, erroneous perception, exogenous actions, and failed actions. We illustrate that our framework is a generalization of several existing approaches to belief change, and it appropriately captures the non-elementary interaction between belief update and belief revision.

Culbertson, Jared, Guralnik, Dan P., Stiller, Peter F.

This work draws its inspiration from three important sources of research on dissimilarity-based clustering and intertwines those three threads into a consistent principled functorial theory of clustering. Those three are the overlapping clustering of Jardine and Sibson, the functorial approach of Carlsson and Memoli to partition-based clustering, and the Isbell/Dress school's study of injective envelopes. Carlsson and Memoli introduce the idea of viewing clustering methods as functors from a category of metric spaces to a category of clusters, with functoriality subsuming many desirable properties. Our first series of results extends their theory of functorial clustering schemes to methods that allow overlapping clusters in the spirit of Jardine and Sibson. This obviates some of the unpleasant effects of chaining that occur, for example with single-linkage clustering. We prove an equivalence between these general overlapping clustering functors and projections of weight spaces to what we term clustering domains, by focusing on the order structure determined by the morphisms. As a specific application of this machinery, we are able to prove that there are no functorial projections to cut metrics, or even to tree metrics. Finally, although we focus less on the construction of clustering methods (clustering domains) derived from injective envelopes, we lay out some preliminary results, that hopefully will give a feel for how the third leg of the stool comes into play.

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a form of update based on the minimization of the geodesic distance on a graph. We provide a characterization of this class using settheoretic operators and show that such operators bijectively correspond to geodesic metrics. As distance is generated by distinguishability, our framework is appropriate in contexts where distance is generated by threshold, and therefore, when measurement is erroneous.