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Publication Details

A Logical Approach To Reasoning By Analogy

by Davies, Todd R.

Technical Note 385
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
Jul 1987.

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Abstract

We analyze the logical form of the domain knowledge that grounds analogical inferences and generalizations from a single instance. The form of the assumptions which justify analogies is given schematically as the ``determination rule’’, so called because it expresses the relation of one set of variables determining the values of another set. The determination relation is a logical generalization of the different types of dependency relations defined in database theory. Specifically, we define determination as a relation between schemata of first order logic that have two kinds of free variables: (1) object variables and (2) what we call ``polar’’ variables, which hold the place of truth values. Determination rules facilitate sound rule inference and valid conclusions projected by analogy from single instances, without implying what the conclusion should be prior to an inspection of the instance. They also provide a way to specify what information is sufficiently relevant to decide a question, prior to knowledge of the answer to the question.

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