Accession Number:

ADA231404

Title:

Transition Space

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE LAB

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1990-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

42.0

Abstract:

Informal causal descriptions of physical systems abound in sources such as encyclopedias, reports and user manuals. Yet these descriptions remain largely opaque to computer processing. This paper proposes a representational framework in which such descriptions are viewed as providing partial specifications of paths in a space of possible transitions, or transition space. In the framework, the task of comprehending informal causal descriptions emerges as one of completing the specifications of paths in transition space-filling causal gaps and relating accounts of activity varied by analogy and abstraction. Drawing on results from perceptual psychology, a specific representation for events is outlined, along with a set of operations for use in comprehending and answering questions regarding informal causal descriptions. The use of the representation and its operations is illustrated in the context of a simple description concerning rocket propulsion.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE