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Inference Rules

Inference Rules

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Published by: Docta Mathana on Oct 07, 2012
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Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true. The conclusion drawn is also called an idiomatic. The laws of valid inference are studied in the field of logic. Human inference (i.e. how humans draw conclusions) is traditionally studied within the field of cognitive psychology; artificial intelligence researchers develop automated inference systems to emulate human inference. Statistical inference allows for inference from quantitative data.

Definition of inference The process by which a conclusion is inferred from multiple observations is called inductive reasoning. The conclusion may be correct or incorrect, or correct to within a certain degree of accuracy, or correct in certain situations. Conclusions inferred from multiple observations may be tested by additional observations. This definition is disputable (due to its lack of clarity.) Ref: Oxford English dictionary: "induction ... 3. Logic the inference of a general law from particular instances.") The definition given thus applies only when the "conclusion" is general. 1. A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning. 2. The process of reaching such a conclusion: "order, health, and by inference cleanliness".


consider the form of the following symbolical track: 1. Socrates is mortal. All fruits are sweet. All men are mortal 2. 2. Now we turn to an invalid form. correct three part inferences that can be used as building blocks for more complex reasoning. Socrates is a man 3. C is an A. We begin with the most famous of them all: 1. the word "valid" does not refer to the truth of the premises or the conclusion. That is. For the conclusion to be necessarily true. the premises need to be true. 2 . An inference can be valid even if the parts are false. C is a B. 1. Therefore. But a valid form with true premises will always have a true conclusion. 3. For example. Therefore. All A are B. and can be invalid even if the parts are true.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Examples TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO Greek philosophers defined a number of syllogisms. but Logic is concerned with inference: does the truth of the conclusion follow from that of the premises? The validity of an inference depends on the form of the inference. A banana is a fruit. The reader can check that the premises and conclusion are true. Therefore. a banana is sweet. 3. but rather to the form of the inference. 2.

the inference is valid because it follows the form of a correct inference. bananas are apples. Therefore. Incorrect inference 3 . Therefore. When a valid argument is used to derive a false conclusion from false premises. All apples are fruit. John Lennon was tall. Therefore.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO To show that this form is invalid. All tall people are musicians 2. John Lennon was tall 3. All tall people are Greek. 2. John Lennon was a musician In this case we have two false premises that imply a true conclusion. 3. John Lennon was Greek. (Correct) 2. Bananas are fruit. we demonstrate how it can lead from true premises to a false conclusion. (Wrong) A valid argument with false premises may lead to a false conclusion: 1. (Correct) 3. 1. A valid argument can also be used to derive a true conclusion from false premises: 1.

The knowledge base (KB) is a set of propositions that represent what the system knows about the world. Automatic logical inference AI systems first provided automated logical inference and these were once extremely popular research topics. and cognitive psychologists have documented many biases in human reasoning that favour incorrect reasoning. An inference system's job is to extend a knowledge base automatically. An additional requirement is that the conclusions the system arrives at are relevant to its task. Philosophers who study informal logic have compiled large lists of them. Several techniques can be used by that system to extend KB by means of valid inferences. leading to industrial applications under the form of expert systems and later business rule engines. Inference rules 4 .ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO An incorrect inference is known as a fallacy.

The rule is valid with respect to the semantics of classical logic (as well as the semantics of many other non-classical logics). rules such that there is an effective procedure for determining whether any given formula is the conclusion of a given set of formulae according to the rule. a rule of inference. The standard form of rules of inference 5 . Typically. For example. in the sense that if the premises are true (under an interpretation) then so is the conclusion. modus pollens from propositional logic and contraposition. First-order predicate logic uses rules of inference to deal with logical quantifiers. i.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO In logic. But a rule of inference's action is purely syntactic. or transformation rule is the act of drawing a conclusion based on the form of premises interpreted as a function which takes premises. the rule of inference modus ponens takes two premises. analyses their syntax.e. a semantic property. Usually only rules that are recursive are important. and does not need to preserve any semantic property: any function from sets of formulae to formulae counts as a rule of inference. one in the form of "If p then q" and another in the form of "p" and returns the conclusion "q". An example of a rule that is not effective in this sense is the infinity ω-rule. a rule of inference preserves truth. In many-valued logic. Popular rules of inference include modus ponens. it preserves a general designation. and returns a conclusion (or conclusions). inference rule.

some restricted subset such as propositions) to form an infinite set of inference rules. In the rule (schema) above.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO In formal logic (and many related areas). A proof system is formed from a set of rules chained together to form proofs. the specified conclusion can be taken for granted as well. If premises are left unsatisfied in the derivation. such as in: A→B A ∴B This is just the modus ponens rule of propositional logic. A and B can be instantiated to any element of the universe (or sometimes. then the conclusion holds. Rules of inference are usually formulated as rule schemata by the use of universal variables. by convention. one may use logical formulae.. In a simple case. Premise#n Conclusion This expression states. then the derivation is a proof of a hypothetical statement: "if the premises hold.. rules of inference are usually given in the following standard form: Premise#1 Premise#2 ." Admissibility and derivability 6 . which is the statement proved or derived. Any derivation has only one final conclusion. or derivations. that whenever in the course of some logical derivation the given premises have been obtained. The exact formal language that is used to describe both premises and conclusions depends on the actual context of the derivations.

the double-successor rule is still derivable. the following rule demonstrating that the second successor of a natural number is also a natural number is derivable: Its derivation is just the composition of two uses of the successor rule above. (To prove that this rule is admissible.) However. To see the difference. To appreciate the difference. because it depends on the structure of the derivation of the premise. An admissible rule is one whose conclusion holds whenever the premises hold. derivability is stable under additions to the proof system. A derivable rule is one whose conclusion can be derived from its premises using the other rules. All derivable rules are admissible.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO In a set of rules. it is not derivable. The brittleness of admissibility comes from the way it is proved: since the proof can induct on the 7 . an inference rule could be redundant in the sense that it is admissible or derivable. as can be proven by induction. suppose the following nonsense rule were added to the proof system: In this new system. Because of this. because there is no way to derive . consider the following set of rules for defining the natural numbers (the judgment natural number): asserts the fact that is a The first rule states that 0 is a natural number. In this proof system. However. and the second states that s(n) is a natural number if n is. assume a derivation of the premise and induct on it to produce a derivation of . the rule for finding the predecessor is no longer admissible. whereas admissibility is not. The following rule for asserting the existence of a predecessor for any nonzero number is merely admissible: This is a true fact of natural numbers.

(3) a conclusion. Rules of inference must be distinguished from axioms of a theory. extensions to the system add new cases to this proof. where the turnstile stands for a deducibility relation holding between premises and conclusion. Rules of inference play a vital role in the specification of logical calculi as they are considered in proof theory. you can infer is a statement that says if you've proven p. This does not hold in Peano arithmetic. in less technical terms: Rules are statements ABOUT the system. the cut rule is admissible. Inference rules may also be stated in this form: (1) some (perhaps zero) premises. which means "infers". For instance. Admissible rules can be thought of as theorems of a proof system. "proves" or "concludes". This holds in Peano arithmetic. In terms of semantics. axioms are statements IN the system. which may no longer hold. This usually embodies the relational (as opposed to functional) view of a rule of inference.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO structure of the derivations of the premises. axioms are valid assertions. • The Axiom would mean that every true statement is provable. Axioms are usually regarded as starting points for applying rules of inference and generating a set of conclusions. then it is provable that p is provable. Or. For example: • The RULE that from for example. such as the sequent calculus and natural deduction. in a sequent calculus where cut elimination holds. 8 . (2) a turnstile symbol .

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