IJCAI 2013 Tutorial: Belief Revision: From 1985 to 2013

The 1985 paper by Carlos Alchourrón (1931–1996), Peter Gärdenfors, and David Makinson (AGM), “On the Logic of Theory Change: Partial Meet Contraction and Revision Functions” was the starting-point of a large and rapidly growing literature that employs formal models in the investigation of changes in belief states and databases.

In this tutorial, the first twenty-eight years of this development are summarized.

The topics covered include equivalent characterizations of AGM operations, extended representations of the belief states, change operators not included in the original framework, iterated change, applications of the model, its connections with other formal frameworks, and criticism of the model.

A detailed outline of the tutorial

1 Introduction
2 Equivalent characterizations
2.1 AGM briefly summarized
2.2 Safe and kernel contraction
2.3 Epistemic Entrenchment
2.4 Grove’s spheres
2.5 Distance models
2.6 Specified meet contraction
3 Criticism of the model
3.1 The recovery postulate
3.2 The success postulates
3.3 Are belief sets too large?
3.4 Lack of information in the belief set
4 Extended representations of belief states
4.1 Belief bases
4.2 Probability and plausibility
4.3 Ranking models
4.4 Extensions of the language
4.5 Change in norms, preferences, goals, and desires
5 Iterated change
5.1 Revising epistemic states
5.2 Major classes of iterable operators
6 Alternative operators of change
6.1 Update
6.2 Non-prioritized change
6.3 Changes in the strength of beliefs
6.4 Resource-bounded change and inconsistency management
6.5 Multiple change
6.6 Indeterministic change
6.7 Some other operators of change
7 Applications and connections
7.1 Non-monotonic and defeasible logic
7.2 Description logic
7.3 Horn clause contraction functions
7.4 Game theory
7.5 Argumentation
7.6 Modal and dynamic logics
7.7 Belief Change by translation between logics
7.8 Truth
7.9 Use of choice functions and related preference orderings
8 Computability and implementation

The tutorial can be summarized in the following two figures:


PDF format.
Flash format.

Potential target audience

The tutorial is intended for a wide audiences. The IJCAI area of the course is “Knowledge Representation, Reasoning and Logic”. However it is also interesting for the people in the following areas:

Agent-based and Multi-agent Systems
Machine Learning
Robotics and Vision (in particular Cognitive Robotics)
Multidisciplinary Topics And Applications
Uncertainty in AI
Web and Knowledge-based Information Systems

The prerequisite it is basic knowledge of logic and a background in AI, in particular Knowledge Representation and Reasoning.


Eduardo Fermé
Centre of Exact Sciences and Engineering
University of Madeira
Campus Universitário da Penteada 9000-390 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

Brief Biography

1964 Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
1991 Licenciado en Ciencias de la Computación. Computer Science Department , University of Buenos Aires.
1991-1997 Assistant Teacher at the Computer Science Department, University of Buenos Aires.
1997-2002 Assistant Professor at the Computer Science Department, University of Buenos Aires.
1999 PhD in Computer Science, University of Buenos Aires. Supervisors: Carlos E. Alchourrón (until his death in 1996) - Sven Ove Hansson.
2000 Born my son Bruno.
2002-2005 Assistant Professor at the Mathematics and Engineering Department, University of Madeira, Portugal.
2005-.... Associate Professor at the Mathematics and Engineering Department (now part of the Centre of Exact Sciences and Engineering), University of Madeira.
2008 “Provas de Agregação” (Aggregation) in Informatics Engineering – Branch Artificial Intelligence. University of Madeira.
2008-2009 Head of Department. Mathematics and Engineering Department, University of Madeira.
2009-2012 . Member of the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute.
2011 PhD in Philosophy. Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. Supervisor: John Cantwell.
2013 Member of The Centre for Artificial Intelligence (CENTRIA), Faculty of Science and Technology of the New University of Lisbon (FCT/UNL).

Full CV

Background in the tutorial area

Eduardo Fermé worked in belief revision from 1988 (He started hes degree thesis under the advise of Carlos Alchourrón). he has more than 30 papers published in the area, an edited book (in preparation with Guillermo Simari) and was one of the editor of the special issue of the 25 years of the AGM, published in the Journal of Philosophical Logic. (http://www.springerlink.com/content/0022-3611/40/2/)