[sc34wg3] Knowledge Representation

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sat, 15 Jan 2005 08:39:08 -0500


Have been doing a lot of reading as a background for the next draft of 
the TMRM and I ran across "What is Knowledge Representation?" by Randall 
Davis, Howard Schrobe and Peter Szolovits (1993), 

Of particular interest are the five principles they list for a knowledge 

A knowledge representation (KR) is most fundamentally a surrogate, a 
substitute for the thing itself, use to enable an entity to determine 
consequences by thinking rather than acting, i.e., by reasoning about 
the world rather than taking action in it.

It is a set of ontological commitments, i.e., an answer to the question: 
Is what terms should I think about the world?

It is a fragmentary theory of intelligent reasoning, expressed in terms 
of three components: (i) the reprensentation's fundamental conception of 
intelligent reasoning; (ii) the set of inferences the representation 
sanctions; and (iii) the set of inferences that it recommends.

It is a medium for pragmatically efficient computation, i.e., the 
computational environment in which thinking is accomplished. One 
contribution to this pragmatic efficiency is supplied by the guidance a 
representation provides for organizing information so as to facilitate 
making the recommended inferences.

It is a medium of human expression, i.e., a language in which we say 
things about the world.
(page 1, note emphasis in the original omitted)

The article is quite readable and touches on a number of important points.

(If the list looks familiar, you may be thinking of Sowa's reference to 
this list in his "Knowledge Representation" book at page 134. Sowa 
restates the principles and then provides his own gloss on them. I 
rather like the original statement myself.)

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!