Advanced KR&R

A Fundamental Problem
(or: a Unifying Theme)
for Knowledge Representation
& Reasoning

Last Update: 27 August 2008

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted

  1. The task of a KRR system is to represent and reason about (and to enable action on) some domain (= "the world")

  2. This might take the form of a computer system to help people

    or it might take the form of a computational cognitive agent.

  3. In either case, there might be more than one source of information:

  4. In the case of multiple senses, some of the information from one sense might originate in some domain-object, and some of the information from another sense might originate in the same domain-object:

  5. In the case of multiple informants, there are 2 problems:

    1. How to evaluate the trustworthiness of the informants

      • Leads to belief-revision/truth-maintenance issues
      • This also applies to sensory input, e.g., in color perception

    2. How to correlate their information

      • Cf. the binding problem
      • E.g., are the informants talking about the same thing?

        • Leads to issues in:

          • node merging/splitting

            • Maida, Anthony S., & Shapiro, Stuart C. (1982), "Intensional Concepts in Propositional Semantic Networks", Cognitive Science 6: 291-330; reprinted in Ronald J. Brachman & Hector J. Levesque (eds.), Readings in Knowledge Representation (Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1985): 169-189.
            • Maida, Anthony S. (1991), "Maintaining Mental Models of Agents Who Have Existential Misconceptions", Artificial Intelligence 50(3): 331-383.

          • identifying/distinguishing perceptually (in)distinguishable objects

  6. Another name for all this: multi-source information fusion

  7. A related ontological problem:

  8. Solutions:

Copyright © 2005-2008 by William J. Rapaport (