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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".


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

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

Inference rules 4 . 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. Automatic logical inference AI systems first provided automated logical inference and these were once extremely popular research topics. leading to industrial applications under the form of expert systems and later business rule engines. Several techniques can be used by that system to extend KB by means of valid inferences. 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. The knowledge base (KB) is a set of propositions that represent what the system knows about the world.ASSIGNMENT 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAI 0013 FUNDAMETAL TO An incorrect inference is known as a fallacy.

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

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

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

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