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• Introduction
• Knowledge Representation Hypothesis
A Fundamental Tradeoff in • Knowledge Representation Subsystem
Knowledge Representation and • Logical Approach
• The Problem
Reasoning • Pseudo-Solutions
• Incomplete Knowledge
Hector J. Levesque • Database Form
Ronald J. Brachman • Logic Program Form
• Semantic Network Form
• Frame Description Form
• Conclusion and Morals

Introduction Introduction

• Difficulty of reasoning increases with • We need to narrow the scope of KR

expressive power systems

• Tradeoff • Different formalisms for different areas

– Expressiveness of representation language
– Computational tractability

Knowledge Representation Knowledge Representation

Hypothesis Hypothesis

• The system must be able to interpret • Symbolic structures must play a causal
structures as propositions role in the behaviour of the system

• Structures have to be expressions in a • Their influence should agree with human

language that has a truth theory understanding of the propositions

Knowledge Representation
Logical Approach

• KR system should select

• Declarative knowledge
– appropriate symbolic structures to represent – Focuses on individuals and their relationships

– appropriate reasoning mechanisms • Functional knowledge

– Advice for reasoning about declarative
in order to be able to assimilate new information knowledge
and answer questions

Logical Approach The Problem

• First Order Logic • Deciding whether or not a of FOL is a
– Translate simple facts into sentences in FOL theorem is unsolvable
– Extensionalize terminology
– Add extra-logical annotations • Even if we restrict the language to
Propositional Logic, we retain NP
• The result: A first-order KB complexity

• This means: Answering questions • For practical problems, algorithms on this

becomes theorem-proving might work quite well

Pseudo-Solutions Incomplete Knowledge

• Push the computational barrier back as far as
– VLSI • Avoid having to represent details that may
– Parallel architectural support not be known
• Relax our notion of correctness
– Always return an answer after a certain time: • Avoid using full expressiveness of FOL
Allow “Don’t know”

The problem with tractability does not lie in the Also a pseudo-solution, a “real” solution is
representation, but in the problems themselves not possible.

Database Form Database Form

• KB only contains the kind of information • No incompleteness in the knowledge: inference

becomes calculation
that can be represented in a database

• Database KB is analogous to the domain of

• Questions about data itself, and not the interest in its structure
structures described by it
+ Can be used directly to answer questions
• Much easier to use than a general FO-KB - No incompleteness possible

Logic Program Form Logic Program Form

• Explicit part • System has two parts

– Collection of FO sentences – “Retrieval” on atomic facts
– “Search” tries to complete inference, partially
under user control
• Implicit part
– Knowledge that can be derived from the
explicit part • Not really a computational advantage, but
more manageable approach

Semantic Network Form Semantic Network Form

• Only unary and binary predicates • Easier to develop algorithms that appear
to reason than to justify their reasoning

• Can be represented as a labelled directed

• Sidestepping higher arity predicates using
graph special representational objects

• Graph-searching techniques for inference • Encodings of sentences to provide an

extensional version of modal logic

Frame Description Form Frame Description Form

• Frames with attributes (slots) • Analytic relationships are not available in

– Values semantic networks
– Restrictions
– Attached Procedures • Logical form sufficiently constrained, so
the required inference can be more
• Can use inheritance and taxonomy of tractable
subsumption and disjointness

Conclusions and Morals Conclusions and Morals

• No “better” or “worse” • Still a lot to learn about the tradeoff itself

• Different specializations for different • Tendencies to aim too high or too low
should be avoided

• We should continue to design and

examine KR languages, even if they are • A rich world of representation between
all specializations of FOL these two extremes

Thank you for your attention!

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