IJCSI International Journal of Computer Science Issues, Vol. 6, No. 2, 200934should be used. For example, if a context is defined by
, then many events may happen in aspecific context, and each event may produce a differentexperience in one context. Therefore, the structuraldefinition of a context is only part of its specification, itsother part being the semantics of the
associated withthe context. The world may be defined by a set of states inprogramming or by a set of logical formulas in a formalspecification. Motivated by a need to specify context as afirst class citizen in languages and systems, a formalrepresentation of it was developed in .
2. Context in Logic
In this section we review the study of context in logic as aformal object and reasoning. We review intensional logicand some variations of propositional and predicate logic inwhich context has been embedded as first class citizens.
2.1 Intensional Logic
Intensional Logic [14, 42], a family of mathematicalformal systems that permits expressions whose valuedepends on
, came into being from researchin natural language understanding. According to Carnap, the real meaning of a natural language expressionwhose truth-value depends on the context in which it isuttered is its
of that expression isits actual truth-value in the different possible contexts of utterance, where this expression can be evaluated.Basically, intensional logics add
to logicalexpressions, and non-intensional logics can be viewed as
in all possible dimensions, i.e. their valuationdoes not vary according to their context of utterance.
are defined to
in thecontext space. In order to navigate, some dimension
(or indexes) are required to provide placeholders alongdimensions. These dimension tags, along with thedimension names they belong to, are used to define thecontext for evaluating intensional expressions.
E: Beijing is now the capital of China.This expression is intensional because the truth value of this expression depends on the context in which it isevaluated. The intensional natural language operator inthis expression is now, which refers to the time dimension.Today it is certainly true, but there existed time points inthe past when China had a different capital. For example,before 1949, the capital of China was NanJing. Thosedifferent values (i.e. True or False) along different timepoints are extensions of this expression. In other words,the evaluation of the above expression is time-dependent.A natural extension is to consider expressions that dependon more than one dimension, such as time, space, audience,and so on.
The meaning of the expression:E: the overseas indexes during this period close 10%below their highs can be interpreted when the possibleworlds spanned by the dimensions overseas and period aredefined. The Table below gives a possible extension of theexpression E when the periods are months in a given year,and overseas stock markets are Amsterdam, Brussels,Frankfurt, and London. By varying the year we get 3-dimensional extension.
Table 1: Example 1
JaFeMrApMa Jn Jl Au Se OcNoDe AmsterdaFFFFTT T T T FFF BrusselsFFF T T T T T T FF F FrankfurtFFT T T T T T T T F F LondonFT T T T T T T T T T T
2.2 Formalizing Context in AI
Contexts in AI were introduced by Weyhrauch (1980) and subsequently developed by McCarthy and Buva c(1998)  and Giunchiglia (1993) . Surveys of theformalizations and the usage of contexts can be found inSharma (1995) , Akman and Surav (1996) ,Bouquet et al. (1999) , Bonzon et al. (2000)  andAkman et al. (2001) . Context serves an importantpurpose in AI and Intelligent Information Processing (IIP).The classic example of the earliest IIP that failed to meetsafety criteria is MYCIN . It was observed byMcCarthy . MYCIN system advises physicians ontreating bacterial infections of the blood and meningitis.When MYCIN was first introduced context was not part of system’s query processing phase. When it was given thequery “what is the treatment for
” itrecommended “two weeks of
” treatment.What it failed to inform the physician was that a massive
during the course of the treatment wouldoccur. While the administration of
would curethe bacteria, the patient would die long before that due todiarrhea. Here is an instance where the context of correctusage was not given to the physician, which ultimatelymade the system
and hence not trustworthy. Acontextual MYCIN will explicitly state the context forcorrect administration of medications. In AI context isformalized using propositional or predicate logic.Contexts are abstract objects (representation free) andare first-class citizens. Consequently, contexts are freelyused in logical formulas, without explicitly definingcontexts. In some sense, in the logical approach a contextitself is defined by a set of formulas that are true by thetruth assignments in that context. In  McCarthy, whointroduced a logical framework in AI for studying context,