A General Framework for Reasoning about Change

J Augusto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The capability to represent and use concepts like time and events in computer science is essential to solve a wide class of problems characterized by the notion of change. Real-time, databases and multimedia are just a few of several areas which needs good tools to deal with time. Another area where this concepts are essential is artificial intelligence because an agent must be able to reason about a dynamic environment.

    In this work a formalism is proposed which allows the representation and use of several features that had been recognized as useful in the attempts to solve such class of problems. A general framework based on a many-sorted logic is proposed centering our attention in issues such as the representation of time, actions, properties, events and causality. The proposal is compared with related work from the temporal logic and artificial intelligence areas. This work complements and enhances previously related efforts on formalizing temporal concepts with the same purpose.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)209-246
    JournalNew Generation Computing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2003

    Bibliographical note

    Other Details
    This paper provided a formalization of a reasoning system that included the fundamental elements for representing and solving problems in dynamic environments. The theory combines different types of explicit temporal references (instants and intervals) as well as implicit temporal references represented by events (instantaneous and durative). These temporal references can then be associated to reasoning with actions and causality. These concepts are then used by a reasoning system based on a multi-sorted logic that defines an efficient reasoning system. A final comparison shows that the newly proposed theory can encompass other contemporary proposals to achieve automated temporal reasoning.


    • knowledge representation
    • Temporal logic
    • Time
    • Events
    • Actions
    • Causality


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