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Machine Reasoning Explainability

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

As a field of AI, Machine Reasoning (MR) uses largely symbolic means to formalize and emulate abstract reasoning. Studies in early MR have notably started inquiries into Explainable AI (XAI) -- arguably one of the biggest concerns today for the AI community. Work on explainable MR as well as on MR approaches to explainability in other areas of AI has continued ever since. It is especially potent in modern MR branches, such as argumentation, constraint and logic programming, planning. We hereby aim to provide a selective overview of MR explainability techniques and studies in hopes that insights from this long track of research will complement well the current XAI landscape. This document reports our work in-progress on MR explainability.


Reasoning-Driven Question-Answering for Natural Language Understanding

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Natural language understanding (NLU) of text is a fundamental challenge in AI, and it has received significant attention throughout the history of NLP research. This primary goal has been studied under different tasks, such as Question Answering (QA) and Textual Entailment (TE). In this thesis, we investigate the NLU problem through the QA task and focus on the aspects that make it a challenge for the current state-of-the-art technology. This thesis is organized into three main parts: In the first part, we explore multiple formalisms to improve existing machine comprehension systems. We propose a formulation for abductive reasoning in natural language and show its effectiveness, especially in domains with limited training data. Additionally, to help reasoning systems cope with irrelevant or redundant information, we create a supervised approach to learn and detect the essential terms in questions. In the second part, we propose two new challenge datasets. In particular, we create two datasets of natural language questions where (i) the first one requires reasoning over multiple sentences; (ii) the second one requires temporal common sense reasoning. We hope that the two proposed datasets will motivate the field to address more complex problems. In the final part, we present the first formal framework for multi-step reasoning algorithms, in the presence of a few important properties of language use, such as incompleteness, ambiguity, etc. We apply this framework to prove fundamental limitations for reasoning algorithms. These theoretical results provide extra intuition into the existing empirical evidence in the field.


Logic and Databases Past, Present, and Future

AI Magazine

At a workshop held in Toulouse, France, in 1977, Gallaire, Minker, and Nicolas stated that logic and databases was a field in its own right. This was the first time that this designation was made. The impetus for it started approximately 20 years ago in 1976 when I visited Gallaire and Nicolas in Toulouse, France. In this article, I provide an assessment about what has been achieved in the 20 years since the field started as a distinct discipline. I review developments in the field, assess contributions, consider the status of implementations of deductive databases, and discuss future work needed in deductive databases.