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Commonsense reasoning and argumentation

Website:website containing additional information
Course code:INFOCR
Credits:7.5 ECTS
Period:period 3 (week 6 through 15, i.e., 4-2-2019 through 12-4-2019; retake week 27)
Participants:up till now 39 subscriptions
Schedule:Official schedule representation can be found in Osiris
lecture   Wed 13.15-15.006-14 BBG-223 Henry Prakken
Fri 13.15-15.006 BBG-205
8-14 BBG-205

Artificial Intelligence often uses logical models of reasoning. Logic investigates the validity of patterns of reasoning. Standard logic confines itself to the study of fully reliable inferences. Although this is adequate for fields like mathematics, for many other applications standard logic is too restricted. In other scientific areas, as well as in commonsense reasoning, people are often faced with incomplete, uncertain or even inconsistent information. To deal with this, they use reasoning patterns where it can be rational to accept a conclusion even if its truth is not guaranteed by the available information.

This course focuses on logics that systematise rationality criteria for such 'defeasible' reasoning patterns. Logics of this kind are often called 'nonmonotonic logics', since new information may invalidate previously drawn conclusions. This course covers some of the best-known nonmonotonic logics, in particular default logic, circumscription and argumentation systems. Some attention will also be paid to the use of these formalisms in models of multi-agent interaction and legal reasoning.

Upon successful completion of this course, the student:

  1. knows the main logical techniques for formalizing commonsense reasoning;
  2. knows the essence of dialogue models for argumentation;
  3. is able to apply these logical and dialogical formalisms to formal examples;
  4. has insight into the metatheoretic properties of the studied formalisms and can verify simple metatheoretic properties;
  5. is aware of the main formal relations between different logical models of commonsense reasoning, and can formally verify simple relations;
  6. is able to evaluate the suitability of the studied formalisms for modeling different types of commonsense-reasoning and argumentation;
  7. is able to formalize realistic problems of commonsense reasoning in a logical system for commonsense reasoning.

Literature:Online reader, online articles and educational software tools
Course form:Interactive lectures (14x2 hours) plus self-study with exercises.
Exam form:Written exam (2/3) and three mandatory intermediate exercises (1/3).
Minimum effort to qualify for 2nd chance exam:To qualify for the second-chance exam:
  • the final result after the first-chance exam must be at least a 4; and
  • the student must have taken part in at least one of the first two mandatory exercises (NB: a missed mandatory exercise is graded with 1.0); and
  • the student must have handed in a version of the homework exercise that at least satisfies the minimum requirements for this exercise.