25.05.15 - 29.05.15, Seminar 15221

Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Reasoning with Imperfect Information and Knowledge - a Synthesis and a Roadmap of Challenges

Diese Seminarbeschreibung wurde vor dem Seminar auf unseren Webseiten veröffentlicht und bei der Einladung zum Seminar verwendet.


To date, the field of knowledge representation has seen a huge amount of research work for methodologies that overcome the limitations of classical logical approaches for helping users or intelligent agents to reach promising and successful decisions in uncertain situations. Many approaches can be very roughly subsumed by the terms non-monotonic reasoning and belief revision. Both fields make heavy use of rationality postulates to describe the quality of approaches. Indeed, several phenomena of human reasoning have been investigated but named and dealt with differently in logic, philosphy, and psychology. Now, there is a clear need for crossing borders, combining different frameworks and paradigms, taking cognitive aspects into account, and generally intensifying interdisciplinary work with researchers from psychology, philosophy and other disciplines which study human reasoning and behaviour.

This seminar will address typical problems that smart and intelligent systems in real-world scenarios have to deal with both from formal and empirical points of view. Such systems have to face, in particular, the problem of reasoning with uncertain, imprecise, incomplete, or inconsistent (in short, imperfect) informationwhich often renders more classical, i.e., strict or deductive methods obsolete or fallacious. Reasoning with imperfect information plays a central role in practical deliberation and rational decision making. Models of human context-dependent reasoning that synthesizes logical, philosophical and psychological aspects would be helpful for designing better systems. In psychology, an increasing interest in new formal methods for rational human reasoning under uncertainty can be observed, and on the other hand, philosophers and computer scientists have shown an increased attention to the experimental methods of psychology recently. In particular for computer scientists and AI researchers, it is becoming more and more interesting to see whether the systems they have been developing are materially adequate. A synthesis of rational reasoning with imperfect information that takes into account research done in artificial intelligence, but also in psychology and philosophy is needed for providing a clearer view of where we are and what are the pending issues both from computational resp. logical and cognitive viewpoints. It will help making intelligent systems more effective, and more helpful for their human users.

The aim of this seminar is to bring together researchers interested in rational and uncertain reasoning from a very broad scientific scope to present and discuss problems and approaches from different disciplines, consolidate common grounds, and initiate new interdisciplinary collaborations. Challenges for new paradigms of rational reasoning shall be identified, and visions and foci for more interdisciplinary work shall be developed. There is much more collaboration and open-mindedness among the communities now than there was ten years ago. Indeed, it is for the first time that computer scientists, philosophers, and psychologists are working in a common methodological paradigm with overlapping goals, converging interests, and largely shared research tools. The seminar aims to capitalize on these developments and to provide a deeper and more coherent understanding of reasoning with imperfect information than is currently available. Dagstuhl is a beautifully located venue that is specialized in hosting seminars in computer science and relatedfields. Our seminar will start with tutorials on central topics and will leave ample room for discussions and collaborative work.