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"An information system characterizes a view of the world with which it interacts, and broadly speaking, its input can take two forms; a query or an impetus for change. Physically the information held by an information system might be a diagram, a graph, a spreadsheet, a database, a rulebase, or a more sophisticated cognitive entity. More often than not, information is uncertain and subject to change; this is the case even for simple database systems. Consequently an information system requires a mechanism for modifying its view as more information about the world is acquired."
– Mary-Anne Williams. Tutorial: Belief Revision: Modeling The Dynamics Of Information Systems, 1995.
Over the last couple of decades, there has been a considerable effort devoted to the problem of updating logic programs under the stable model semantics (a.k.a. answer-set programs) or, in other words, the problem of characterising the result of bringing up-to-date a logic program when the world it describes changes. Whereas the state-of-the-art approaches are guided by the same basic intuitions and aspirations as belief updates in the context of classical logic, they build upon fundamentally different principles and methods, which have prevented a unifying framework that could embrace both belief and rule updates. In this paper, we will overview some of the main approaches and results related to answer-set programming updates, while pointing out some of the main challenges that research in this topic has faced.
Theory of Mind is commonly defined as the ability to attribute mental states (e.g., beliefs, goals) to oneself, and to others. A large body of previous work - from the social sciences to artificial intelligence - has observed that Theory of Mind capabilities are central to providing an explanation to another agent or when explaining that agent's behaviour. In this paper, we build and expand upon previous work by providing an account of explanation in terms of the beliefs of agents and the mechanism by which agents revise their beliefs given possible explanations. We further identify a set of desiderata for explanations that utilize Theory of Mind. These desiderata inform our belief-based account of explanation.
Goal recognition design (GRD) facilitates understanding the goals of acting agents through the analysis and redesign of goal recognition models, thus offering a solution for assessing and minimizing the maximal progress of any agent in the model before goal recognition is guaranteed. In a nutshell, given a model of a domain and a set of possible goals, a solution to a GRD problem determines (1) the extent to which actions performed by an agent within the model reveal the agent’s objective; and (2) how best to modify the model so that the objective of an agent can be detected as early as possible. This approach is relevant to any domain in which rapid goal recognition is essential and the model design can be controlled. Applications include intrusion detection, assisted cognition, computer games, and human-robot collaboration. A GRD problem has two components: the analyzed goal recognition setting, and a design model specifying the possible ways the environment in which agents act can be modified so as to facilitate recognition. This work formulates a general framework for GRD in deterministic and partially observable environments, and offers a toolbox of solutions for evaluating and optimizing model quality for various settings. For the purpose of evaluation we suggest the worst case distinctiveness (WCD) measure, which represents the maximal cost of a path an agent may follow before its goal can be inferred by a goal recognition system. We offer novel compilations to classical planning for calculating WCD in settings where agents are bounded-suboptimal. We then suggest methods for minimizing WCD by searching for an optimal redesign strategy within the space of possible modifications, and using pruning to increase efficiency. We support our approach with an empirical evaluation that measures WCD in a variety of GRD settings and tests the efficiency of our compilation-based methods for computing it. We also examine the effectiveness of reducing WCD via redesign and the performance gain brought about by our proposed pruning strategy.
In this paper, we consider the problem of learning a (first-order) theorem prover where we use a representation of beliefs in mathematical claims instead of a proof system to search for proofs. The inspiration for doing so comes from the practices of human mathematicians where a proof system is typically used after the fact to justify a sequence of intuitive steps obtained by "plausible reasoning" rather than to discover them. Towards this end, we introduce a probabilistic representation of beliefs in first-order statements based on first-order distributive normal forms (dnfs) devised by the philosopher Jaakko Hintikka. Notably, the representation supports Bayesian update and does not enforce that logically equivalent statements are assigned the same probability---otherwise, we would end up in a circular situation where we require a prover in order to assign beliefs. We then examine (1) conjecturing as (statistical) model selection and (2) an alternating-turn proving game amenable (in principle) to self-play training to learn a prover that is both complete in the limit and sound provided that players maintain "reasonable" beliefs. Dnfs have super-exponential space requirements so the ideas in this paper should be taken as conducting a thought experiment on "learning to prove". As a step towards making the ideas practical, we will comment on how abstractions can be used to control the space requirements at the cost of completeness.
In this Book we argue that the fruitful interaction of computer vision and belief calculus is capable of stimulating significant advances in both fields. From a methodological point of view, novel theoretical results concerning the geometric and algebraic properties of belief functions as mathematical objects are illustrated and discussed in Part II, with a focus on both a perspective 'geometric approach' to uncertainty and an algebraic solution to the issue of conflicting evidence. In Part III we show how these theoretical developments arise from important computer vision problems (such as articulated object tracking, data association and object pose estimation) to which, in turn, the evidential formalism is able to provide interesting new solutions. Finally, some initial steps towards a generalization of the notion of total probability to belief functions are taken, in the perspective of endowing the theory of evidence with a complete battery of estimation and inference tools to the benefit of all scientists and practitioners.
Among the many approaches for reasoning about degrees of belief in the presence of noisy sensing and acting, the logical account proposed by Bacchus, Halpern, and Levesque is perhaps the most expressive. While their formalism is quite general, it is restricted to fluents whose values are drawn from discrete finite domains, as opposed to the continuous domains seen in many robotic applications. In this work, we show how this limitation in that approach can be lifted. By dealing seamlessly with both discrete distributions and continuous densities within a rich theory of action, we provide a very general logical specification of how belief should change after acting and sensing in complex noisy domains.
Commonsense reasoning is in principle a central problem in artificial intelligence, but it is a very difficult one. One approach that has been pursued since the earliest days of the field has been to encode commonsense knowledge as statements in a logic-based representation language and to implement commonsense reasoning as some form of logical inference. This paper surveys the use of logic-based representations of commonsense knowledge in artificial intelligence research.
Factor graphs are important models for succinctly representing probability distributions in machine learning, coding theory, and statistical physics. Several computational problems, such as computing marginals and partition functions, arise naturally when working with factor graphs. Belief propagation is a widely deployed iterative method for solving these problems. However, despite its significant empirical success, not much is known about the correctness and efficiency of belief propagation. Bethe approximation is an optimization-based framework for approximating partition functions. While it is known that the stationary points of the Bethe approximation coincide with the fixed points of belief propagation, in general, the relation between the Bethe approximation and the partition function is not well understood. It has been observed that for a few classes of factor graphs, the Bethe approximation always gives a lower bound to the partition function, which distinguishes them from the general case, where neither a lower bound, nor an upper bound holds universally. This has been rigorously proved for permanents and for attractive graphical models. Here we consider bipartite normal factor graphs and show that if the local constraints satisfy a certain analytic property, the Bethe approximation is a lower bound to the partition function. We arrive at this result by viewing factor graphs through the lens of polynomials. In this process, we reformulate the Bethe approximation as a polynomial optimization problem. Our sufficient condition for the lower bound property to hold is inspired by recent developments in the theory of real stable polynomials. We believe that this way of viewing factor graphs and its connection to real stability might lead to a better understanding of belief propagation and factor graphs in general.
An Enterprise Architecture (EA) provides a holistic view of an enterprise. In creating or changing an EA, multiple decisions have to be made, which are based on assumptions about the situation at hand. In this thesis, we develop a framework for reasoning about changing decisions and assumptions, based on logical theories of intentions. This framework serves as the underlying formalism for a recommender system for EA decision making.
The dynamics of belief and knowledge is one of the major components of any autonomous system that should be able to incorporate new pieces of information. In order to apply the rationality result of belief dynamics theory to various practical problems, it should be generalized in two respects: first it should allow a certain part of belief to be declared as immutable; and second, the belief state need not be deductively closed. Such a generalization of belief dynamics, referred to as base dynamics, is presented in this paper, along with the concept of a generalized revision algorithm for knowledge bases (Horn or Horn logic with stratified negation). We show that knowledge base dynamics has an interesting connection with kernel change via hitting set and abduction. In this paper, we show how techniques from disjunctive logic programming can be used for efficient (deductive) database updates. The key idea is to transform the given database together with the update request into a disjunctive (datalog) logic program and apply disjunctive techniques (such as minimal model reasoning) to solve the original update problem. The approach extends and integrates standard techniques for efficient query answering and integrity checking. The generation of a hitting set is carried out through a hyper tableaux calculus and magic set that is focused on the goal of minimality.