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Algorithms of Artificial Intelligence E. Tyugu Spring 200 3 Course content We start with a brief introduction into knowledge systems , where simple knowledge-handling and inference algorithms are presented.

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course content
Course content
  • We start with a brief introduction into knowledge systems, where simple knowledge-handling and inference algorithms are presented.
  • Search algorithms are a classical and well-developed part of the artificial intelligence. In this part, various heuristic as well as brute-force search methods are systematically explained and represented by their algorithms.
  • Learning is represented by algorithms of parametric and adaptive learning, symbolic learning, including various concept learning methods, inductive inference and massively parallel learning methods including neural nets and genetic algorithms.
  • Problem solving (incl. constraint solving and planning) is a branch of the artificial intelligence that has given a considerable output into the computing practice in various application domains.

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course literature recommended
Course literature (recommended)
  • Russell, S. and Norvig, P. (1995) Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Prentice Hall.
  • Shapiro, S. (1992)Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Publishers
  • Bratko, I.(2001) Prolog Programming for Artificial Intelligence. Addison Wesley.
  • Proc. IJCAI ( published every third year)
  • Genesereth, M. and Nilsson N. (1987) Logical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence. Morgan Kaufmann

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content of the lecture
Content of the lecture

Language of algorithms


Deductive systems

Knowledge system

Post’s systems

Brute force deduction

Resolution method

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language of algorithms
Language of algorithms

1. Loop control with while, for and until constructions

2. Set notations used in loop control and other expressions

Example: for x S do .......... od

3. Conditional expressions and statements

4. Recursive definitions

Example: f(x) = if x=0 then 1 else f(x-1)*x fi

5. exit L- exit a statement labelled L

break – end execution of the current block

continue – break execution of the body of the loop.

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language of algorithms continued
Language of algorithms continued

Some predicates and functions are being used without introducing them in

the preface. They have the following predefined meaning:

good(x) - x is a good solution satisfying the conditions given for the problem

empty(x) - x is an empty object (tree, set, list etc.)

success() - actions taken in the case of successful termination of the algorithm, it can be supplied with the argument which is then the output of the algorithm: success(x)

failure() - actions taken in the case of unsuccessful termination of the algorithm

Common functions for list manipulation (head, tail, append etc.)

are used without introduction.

We consider functions with finite domains as arrays.

For instance, we can use the assignment

l(i):=l(n)+p(n,i) for changing the value of function l at i, if it is convenient

for representing an algorithm.

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knowledge and knowledge system
Knowledge and knowledge system
  • Knowledge is the content of data for a user who understands

the data. Knowledge may be:

    • deep or shallow,
    • soft or hard
    • weak or strong,

but how to measure knowledge?

  • Knowledge system is a language for representing knowledge plus a mechanism (a program, usually) for using the knowledge by making inferences. A knowledge system can be inplemented in the form of a knowledge base and an inference engine.

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deductive system
Deductive system

There are a certain number of initial objects and a certain number of rules for generating new objects from the initial objects and from those already constructed.

To put it another way: There are an initial position (state) and "rules of the game" (rules for transition from one state into another). A system of this kind is called a deductive system or a calculus.

Interpretation of a deductive system is a set S of objects which can be considered as possible meanings of objects of the deductive system, and a function i which gives a meaning to every object, i.e. computes a set of elements of S for any object, derivable in the deductive system.

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knowledge system
Knowledge system

Now we can define a knowledge system as

a class of interpreted deductive systems with fixed language of objects and fixed inference rules.

Interpretations of objects of a knowledge system may be objects of another knowledge system. The latter may have other inference rules, e.g. more detailed ones. One can build a tower of knowledge systems.

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Objects are built of sets (denoted by A, B, etc.), arrow -> and symbol  (union of sets), e.g. A  C -> B .

Inference rules are:

A -> B B  C -> D (1)

A C -> B D

A -> B  C (2)

A -> B

Meaning of the letters can be data, A -> B can denote computability.

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how to build a knowledge system
How to build a knowledge system

In order to build a knowledge system, one has to

  • specify a syntax of the knowledge language
  • give inference rules
  • define the meaning
  • formalize the meaning by constructing an interpretation of derivable objects

We expect that there will be a great variety of meanings reflecting the variety in the real world. A well-known knowledge system is first-order predicate calculus.

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post s systems
Post's systems

Let us have an alphabet A, a set of variables P, a set A of initial objects

which are words in the alphabet A. These initial objects are also called

axioms. Inference rules are given in the following form:

S1, ..., Sm



where S0, S1, ... , Sm are words in the alphabet AÈP, and S0 doesn't contain

variables which do not occur in S1, ... ,Sm. A word W0 is derivable from the words

W1, ... ,Wm by an inference rule in the calculus iff there exists an assignment of

words in A to variables occuring in the rule such that it transforms the words S1, ... , Sm into W1, ... , Wm and the word S0 into W0.

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post s systems continued
Post´s systems continued
  • Let B be a subset of the alphabet of a Post´s system. We say that the Post´s system is given over B and we consider the words in the alphabet Bgenerated by the Post´s system.
  • Two Post´s systems are equivalent, iff they generate the same set of words in B.
  • Post´s system is in a normal form, iff there is only one axiom and one variable in it and all its inference rules are in the form

S1 p

p S0

  • A Post's system is decidable iff there exists a regular way (an algorithm) to decide for any word whether the word is generated by it or not.
  • A set of words is called recursively enumerable iff there exists a Post's system which generates it.

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post s systems continued14
Post´s systems continued


1. It is possible to build an equivalent normal form for any Post's system.

2. There exist undecidable Post's systems (exist undecidable recursively enumerable


3. There exists a universal Post's system which generates exactly the set of all

words NW such that N is a coding of a Post's system and W is a word generated

by the latter.

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brute force deduction
Brute force deduction

axioms - set of axioms of the calculus

wanted - word to be generated

active - set of words to to be used to produce a set of new words

new - currently built set of new words

app(r,w) - function which for a given rule r and word w produces the application of r to w

applicable(r,w) - true iff the rule r is applicable to word w.

A.1 active := axioms;

while wanted Ï active do


for w Î active do

for r Î rules do

if applicable(r,w)

then new:=new È {app(r,w)}




if new = {} then failure()

else active:=new fi;



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calculus of computability
Calculus of computability

known - set of elements already known to be computable;

found - boolean variable showing whether something was found during the last search

axioms - set of axioms;

arg(r) - set of given elements in axiom r;

res(r) - set of computable elements in axiom r;

plan - sequence of applied axioms which is a plan for computations.

The following algorithm finds a plan for computing the variables out from in:



while out  known do


for rÎ axioms do

if arg(r)  known & res(r)  known

then found:=true;

known:=known È res(r);




if not found then failure() fi



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Atomic formula is of the form P(e1,...,en) where P is a predicate symbol, denoting some n-ary relation (i.e. a relation which binds exactly n objects) and e1,...,en are terms.

Examples: father(Tom,John), employee(x), less_than(a,b).

Clause is a collection of atomic formulae which can occur in the clause positively or negatively. It is convenient to speak about a clause as a set of literals, which are nonnegated or negated atomic formulas. We denote negation by means of the "minus" sign before an atomic formula.

Meaning of a clause consisting of literals L1,...,Ln is: "There exist only the options L1 or ... or Ln." Meaning of a collection of clauses C1, …, Cn is “It is true that C1 and … and Cn .”

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a simple resolution rule
A simple resolution rule

{A,B,...,C} {-A,D,...,E}



where A is an atomic formula, B,...,C,D,...,E are literals. The clause {B,...,E}

contains all elements from B,...,C and D,...,E, but doesn't contain multiple

elements or elements of the contradictory pair. The clause {B,...,E} is called

the resolvent of the premises of the rule.

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  • A substitution is a tuple of pairs (variable, term), e.g.( (x,f(z)),(y,z)) where all variables are different and do not occur in the terms.
  • Application of a substitution s to a term or a formula F is simultaneous changing of the variables in F into their corresponding terms in the substitution s.
  • We denote the result of this application by F¤ s. A substitution s which gives F1¤ s=F2¤ s is called a unifier for F1 and F2, and its application to F1 and F2 is called unification.

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general resolution rule
General resolution rule

{A,B,...C} {-A',D,...,E}

___________________________________ A¤ s=A´ ¤ s

{B¤ s,...,E¤ s}

where s is a unifier for A and A' and the resolvent {B¤ s,...,E¤ s}

includes results of applying the substitution s to literals

B,...,C,D,...,E without repetition of identical literals and

without contradictory pairs.

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clausal calculi
Clausal calculi

Clausal calculi have become very popular, because they are handy to use and they also have a nice and neat logical explanation. Originally, the resolution method was developed in 1965 by J. A. Robinson just for automation of logical deductions (Robinson 65). Independently from Robinson, Sergei Maslov developed and implemented very effciently the same method at the same time in Leningrad.

Clauses with at most one positive literal are called Horn clauses. They possess several good properties.

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Given a finite set of clauses, the resolution method allows us to answer the question, whether this set of clauses is unsatisfiable (contradictory), i.e. whether there exists a derivation of the empty clause from the given set of clauses.

Derivation of an empty clause is called refutation. This is the most common usage of resolution -- theorems are often proved by refuting their negations.

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some resolution strategies
Some resolution strategies

Unit resolution. Unit resolvent is a resolvent for which at least one of the premises is a unit clause - contains one literal. Unit resolution is the process of deduction of unit resolvents. It is complete for Horn clauses, and good algorithms are known for this case.

Input resolution. Input resolvent is a resolvent for which at least one of the premises is in the initial set of clauses. Input resolution is the process of deduction of input resolvents. It is complete for Horn clauses, and good algorithms are known for this case.

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resolution strategies continued
Resolution strategies continued

Linear resolution. A linear resolvent is a resolvent for which at least one of the premises is either in the initial set of clauses or is an ancestor of another premise of this resolution step. Linear resolution is complete for refutation (deriving an empty clause).

Ordered resolution. Literals are considered to be ordered in clauses from left to right. The ordering of literals of premises is preserved in resolvents. Only first, i.e. the leftmost literals in clauses can be resolved upon. This is a restrictive strategy, but it is still complete for Horn clauses.

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  • Define a Post´s system that enables one to split any finite set with at least two elements represented as {a1, …,an} into two sets {a1,…, ai} and {ai+1,…, an} for any i=1,…, n-1.
  • Define a PS that enables one to split a set in an arbitrary way.

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Find the most general unifier, if a pair of literals is unifiable, and explain why, if it is not:

  • Color(Tweety, Yellow) Color(x,y)
  • R(F(x),B) R(x,y)
  • R(F(y),x) R(R(x),F(B))
  • Loves(X,Y) Loves(y,x)

Prove by refutation the following theorem:

(a&b -> c) & (d -> a) & (d -> b) & d |- c

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  • Maslov, S. (1987) Theory of Deductive Systems and its Application. The MIT Press.
  • Robinson, J. A. (1965) A Machine-Oriented Logic Based on the Resolution Principle. Journal of the ACM, v. 12, 23 - 41.
  • Tyugu, E. (1991) Modularity of Knowledge. In: Hayes, J., Michie, D., Tyugu, E. (Eds.)Machine Intelligence 12 (Towards an automated logic of human thought). Clarendon Press. Oxford, 3 - 16.
  • Lorents, P. (2001) Formalization of data and knowledge based on the fundamental notation-denotation relation. In: H. R. Arabnia (ed.)Proc. IC-AI’2001.

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