Archive for July, 1990

Decision Models: A Theory of Volitional Explanation

This paper presents a theory of motivational analysis, the construction of volitional explanations to describe the planning behavior of agents. We discuss both the content of such explanations as well as the process by which an understander builds the explanations. Explanations are constructed from decision models, which describe the planning process that an agent goes through when considering whether to perform an action. Decision models are represented as explanations patterns, which are standard patterns of causality based on previous experiences of the understander. We discuss the nature of explanation patterns, their use in representing decision models, and the process by which they are retrieved, used, and evaluated.

Read the paper:

Decision Models: A Theory of Volitional Explanation

by Ashwin Ram

Twelvth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-90), Cambridge, MA, July 1990

Knowledge Goals: A Theory of Interestingness

Combinatorial explosion of inferences has always been one of the classic problems in AI. Resources are limited, and inferences potentially infinite; a reasoner needs to be able to determine which inferences are useful to draw from a given piece of text. But unless one considers the goals of the reasoner, it is very difficult to give a principled definition of what it means for an inference to be “useful.”

This paper presents a theory of inference control based on the notion of interestingness. We introduce knowledge goals, the goals of a reasoner to acquire some piece of knowledge required for a reasoning task, as the focusing criteria for inference control. We argue that knowledge goals correspond to the interests of the reasoner, and present a theory of interestingness that is functionally motivated by consideration of the needs of the reasoner. Although we use story understanding as the reasoning task, many of the arguments carry over to other cognitive tasks as well.

Read the paper:

Knowledge Goals: A Theory of Interestingness

by Ashwin Ram

Twelvth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 206-214, Cambridge, MA, July 1990