What's a slot?


A frame has associated with it a set of own slots, and each own slot of a frame has associated with it a set of entities called slot values. Formally, a slot is a binary relation, and each value V of an own slot S of a frame F represents the assertion that the relation S holds for the entity represented by F and the entity represented by V (i.e., (S F V)). For example, the assertion that Fred's favorite foods are potato chips and ice cream could be represented by the own slot Favorite-Food of the frame Fred having as values the frame Potato-Chips and the string ``ice cream''

Relations may optionally be entities in the domain of discourse and therefore representable by frames. Thus, a slot or a facet may be represented by a frame. Such a frame describes the properties of the relation represented by the slot or facet. A frame representing a slot is called a slot frame, and a frame representing a facet is called a facet frame

A class frame has associated with it a collection of template slots that describe own slot values considered to hold for each instance of the class represented by the frame. The values of template slots are said to inherit to the subclasses and to the instances of a class. Formally, each value V of a template slot S of a class frame C represents the assertion that the relation template-slot-value holds for the relation S, the class represented by C, and the entity represented by V (i.e., (template-slot-value S C V)). That assertion, in turn, implies that the relation S holds between each instance I of class C and value V (i.e., (S I V)). It also implies that the relation template-slot-value holds for the relation S, each subclass Csub of class C, and the entity represented by V (i.e., (template-slot-value S Csub V)). That is, the following slot value inheritance axiom holds for the relation template-slot-value:

   (=> (template-slot-value ?S ?C ?V)
       (and (=> (instance-of ?I ?C) (holds ?S ?I ?V))
            (=> (subclass-of ?Csub ?C)
                (template-slot-value ?S ?Csub ?V))))
Thus, the values of a template slot are inherited to subclasses as values of the same template slot and to instances as values of the corresponding own slot. For example, the assertion that the gender of all female persons is female could be represented by template slot Gender of class frame Female-Person having the value Female. Then, if we created an instance of Female-Person called Mary, Female would be a value of the own slot Gender of Mary


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