Technical Reports

The ICICS/CS Reading Room

UBC CS TR-89-04 Summary

Explanation and Prediction: An Architecture for Default and Abductive Reasoning, March 1989 David Poole

Although there are many arguments that logic is an appropriate tool for artificial intelligence, there has been a perceived problem with the monotonicity of classical logic. This paper elaborates on the idea that reasoning should be viewed as theory formation where logic tells us the consequences of our assumptions. The two activities of predicting what is expected to be true and explaining observations are considered in a simple theory formation framework. Properties of each activity are discussed, along with a number of proposals as to what should be predicted or accepted as reasonable explanations. An architecture is proposed to combine explanation and prediction into one coherent framework. Algorithms used to implement the system as well as examples from a running implementation are given.

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