The need to make default assumptions is frequently encountered in reasoning about incompletely specified worlds. Inferences sanctioned by default are best viewed as beliefs which may well be modified or rejected by subsequent observations. It is this property which leads to the non monotonicity of any logic of defaults. .br In this paper we propose a logic for default reasoning. We then specialize our treatment to a very large class of commonly occurring defaults. For this class we develop a complete proof theory and show how to interface it with a top down resolution theorem prover. Finally, we provide criteria under which the revision of derived beliefs must be effected.
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