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How Humans Process Uncertain Knowledge: An Introduction

AI Magazine

The questions of how humans process uncertain information is important to the development of knowledge-based systems in term of both knowledge acquisition and knowledge representation. This article reviews three bodies of psychological research that address this question: human perception, human probabilistic and statistical judgement, and human choice behavior. The general conclusion is that human behavior under certainty is often suboptimal and sometimes even fallacious. Suggestions for knowledge engineers in detecting and obviating such errors are discussed. The requirements for a system designed to reduce the effects of human factors in the processing of uncertain knowledge are introduced.


Contributors

AI Magazine

Krasner is the author of Department of Neurology at the University the "CSCW '86 Summary Report." of California at Davis.


First International Workshop on User Modeling

AI Magazine

The First International Workshop on User Modeling in Natural Language Dialogue Systems was held 30-31 August 1986 in Maria Laach, West Germany. Issues addressed by the participants included the appropriate contents of a user model, techniques for constructing user models in both understanding and generating natural language dialogue, and the development of general user-modeling systems. This article includes an overview of the presentations made at the workshop. It is a compilation of the author's impressions and observations and is, therefore, undoubtedly incomplete; and at times might fail to accurately represent the views of the researcher presenting the work.


Ecclesiastes: A Report from the Battlefields of the Mind-Body Problem

AI Magazine

One observer's report on the Artificial Intelligence and Human Mind Conference, held 1-3 March at Yale University. The conference was organized and sponsored by Truth ( a journal of modern thought) and The International Institute for Mankind. The conference included Sir John Eccles, the nobel laureate neurobiologist, physicists Henry Margenau and Eugene Wigner, and AI researchers Marvin Minsky, Michael Arbib, Hans Moravec and Doug Lenat.


A Graduate Level Expert Systems Course

AI Magazine

This article presents an approach to a graduate-level course in expert, knowledge-based, problem-solving systems. The core of the course, and this article, is a set of questions called a profile, that can be used to characterize and compare each system studied.


Thinking Backward for Knowledge Acquisition

AI Magazine

This article examines the direction in which knowledge bases are constructed for diagnosis and decision making. When building an expert system, it is traditional to elicit knowledge from an expert in the direction in which the knowledge is to be applied, namely, from observable evidence toward unobservable hypotheses. However, experts usually find it simpler to reason in the opposite direction-from hypotheses to unobservable evidence-because this direction reflects causal relationships. Therefore, we argue that a knowledge base be constructed following the expert's natural reasoning direction, and then reverse the direction for use. This choice of representation direction facilitates knowledge acquisition in deterministic domains and is essential when a problem involves uncertainty. We illustrate this concept with influence diagrams, a methodology for graphically representing a joint probability distribution. Influence diagrams provide a practical means by which an expert can characterize the qualitative and quantitative relationships among evidence and hypotheses in the apporiate direction. Once constructed, the relationships can easily be reserved into the less intuitive direction in order to perform inference inference and diagnosis. In this way, knowledge acquisition is made cognitively simple; the machine carries the burden of translating the representation.


CSCW '86 Conference Summary Report

AI Magazine

The (CSCW '86) was held in Austin, participants). The three-day report introduces the field of computersupported Texas, on 3-5 December 1986. It was event included nine paper sessions: cooperative work, describes the sponsored by the Microelectronics supporting face-to-face groups, empirical CSCW '86 program, and discusses the significance and Computer Technology Corporation studies, supporting distributed of the conference results An (MCC) Software Technology Program groups, hypertext systems, underlying introduction to the follow-on conference, in cooperation with the Association technology for collaborative systems, CSCW '88, is also provided for Computing Machinery (ACM) collaboration research, multimedia and its special interest groups on software and multiuser interfaces, industrial engineering (SIGSOFT), human experiences with CSCW, and coordination computer interaction (SIGCHI), and and decision making. There office information systems (SIGOIS); were also four panel sessions; the topics the Institute for Electrical and Electronic were collaboration and offices, collaborative Engineers (IEEE) Computer design studies, from theories Society; the American Association for to systems, and trends and markets Artificial Intelligence (AAAI); The for computer-supported group Information Management Society work. As the invited dinner speaker, (TIMS); and the Software Psychology Robert Howard, noted author on the Society.



1986 Workshop on Distributed AI

AI Magazine

This report contains a historical perspective on previous Distributed Artificial Intelligence Workshops, highlights of the roundtable discussions, and a collection of research abstracts submitted by the participants.