Equational Reasoning with Limited Knowledge

Peter Purdon
p_purdon@utas.edu.au
Mathematics
University of Tasmania
GPO Box 252-37
Australia

Abstract

Rational automata [2] are autonomous communicating equational reasoning agents, that operate within an algebraic model of a world of which they only possess partial information. They seek to expand their knowledge of the world. To do this they reason about what they know, and converse with other rational automata within the world. Part of such conversations is the asking of questions. Questions are useful to a rational automaton as they allow the automaton to seek information than can be used to expand its knowledge of the environment, and hence improve its responses to that environment. There are two types of questions used by an automaton - requests for information, and requests for con.rmation. We have found methods to generate such questions, and have implemented these methods in Mathematica. We give examples of the questions generated by these methods when they are applied to a (small) world.


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