Cataloguing/analogizing: A nonmonotonic view

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Intelligent Systems, 2011, 26 (12), pp. 1176 - 1195
Issue Date:
2011-12-01
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Reasoning deductively under incomplete information is nonmonotonic in nature since the arrival of additional information may invalidate or reverse previously obtained conclusions. It amounts to apply generic default rules in an appropriate way to a particular (partially described) situation. This type of nonmonotonic reasoning can only provide plausible conclusions. Analogical reasoning is another form of commonly used reasoning that yields brittle conclusions. It is nondeductive in nature and proceeds by putting particular situations in parallel. Analogical reasoning also exhibits nonmonotonic features, as investigated in this paper when particular situations may be incompletely stated. The paper reconsiders the pattern of plausible reasoning proposed by Polya, "a and b are analogous, a is true, then b true is more credible,'' from a nonmonotonic reasoning point of view. A representation of the statement "a and b are analogous" in terms of nonmonotonic consequences relations is presented. This representation is then related to a logical definition of analogical proportions, i.e. statements of the form "a is to b as c is to d" that has been recently proposed and extended to other types of proportions. Remarkably enough, semantic equivalence between conditional objects of the form "b given a," which have been shown as being at the root of nonmonotonic reasoning, constitutes another type of noticeable proportions. By offering a parallel between two important forms of commonsense reasoning, this paper enriches the comparison between nonmonotonic reasoning and analogical reasoning that is not often made. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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