Commonsense Reasoning

Commonsense Reasoning

An Event Calculus Based Approach

1st Edition - January 19, 2006

Write a review

  • Author: Erik T. Mueller
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080476612

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (EPub, PDF, Mobi)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


To endow computers with common sense is one of the major long-term goals of Artificial Intelligence research. One approach to this problem is to formalize commonsense reasoning using mathematical logic. Commonsense Reasoning is a detailed, high-level reference on logic-based commonsense reasoning. It uses the event calculus, a highly powerful and usable tool for commonsense reasoning, which Erik T. Mueller demonstrates as the most effective tool for the broadest range of applications. He provides an up-to-date work promoting the use of the event calculus for commonsense reasoning, and bringing into one place information scattered across many books and papers. Mueller shares the knowledge gained in using the event calculus and extends the literature with detailed event calculus solutions to problems that span many areas of the commonsense world.

Key Features

  • Covers key areas of commonsense reasoning including action, change, defaults, space, and mental states.
  • The first full book on commonsense reasoning to use the event calculus.
  • Contextualizes the event calculus within the framework of commonsense reasoning, introducing the event calculus as the best method overall.
  • Focuses on how to use the event calculus formalism to perform commonsense reasoning, while existing papers and books examine the formalisms themselves.
  • Includes fully worked out proofs and circumscriptions for every example.


Graduate students or advanced undergraduates taking a course on commonsense reasoning or knowledge representation, or looking for tools to use for their thesis work.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
    1.1 What is Commonsense Reasoning?
    1.2 Key Issues of Commonsense Reasoning
    1.3 Brief History of Commonsense Reasoning
    1.4 The Event Calculus

    Part I: Foundations

    Chapter 2: The Event Calculus
    2.1 First-Order Logic
    2.2 Event Calculus Basics
    2.3 Event Calculus Axiomatizations
    2.4 Reification
    2.5 Conditions
    2.6 Circumscription
    2.7 Domain Descriptions
    2.8 Reasoning Types

    Part II: Commonsense Phenomena

    Chapter 3: The Effects of Events
    3.1 Positive and Negative Effect Axioms
    3.2 Effect Axiom Idioms
    3.3 Preconditions
    3.4 State Constraints

    Chapter 4: The Triggering of Events
    4.1 Trigger Axioms
    4.2 Preventing Repeated Triggering
    4.3 Triggered Fluents

    Chapter 5: The Commonsense Law of Inertia
    5.1 Representation of the Commonsense Law of Inertia
    5.2 Representing Release from the Commonsense Law of Inertia
    5.3 Release Axioms

    Chapter 6: Indirect Effects of Events
    6.1 Effect Axioms
    6.2 Primitive and Derived Fluents
    6.3 Release Axioms and State Constraints
    6.4 Effect Constraints
    6.5 Causal Constraints
    6.6 Trigger Axioms

    Chapter 7: Continuous Change
    7.1 Trajectory Axioms
    7.2 AntiTrajectory Axioms
    7.3 Using AntiTrajectory Instead of Releases

    Chapter 8: Concurrent Events
    8.1 Restricting Concurrency
    8.2 Cumulative and Canceling Effects

    Chapter 9: Nondeterministic Effects of Events
    9.1 Determining Fluents
    9.2 Disjunctive Event Axioms

    Part III: Commonsense Domains

    Chapter 10: Space
    10.1 Relational Space
    10.2 Metric Space
    10.3 Object Identity

    Chapter 11: The Mental States of Agents
    11.1 Beliefs, Goals, and Plans
    11.2 Emotions

    Part IV: Default Reasoning

    Chapter 12: Default Reasoning
    12.1 Atemporal Default Reasoning
    12.2 Temporal Default Reasoning
    12.3 Default Reasoning Method
    12.4 Defaults and the Qualification Problem
    12.5 Default Events and Properties

    Part V: Programs and Applications

    Chapter 13: The Discrete Event Calculus Reasoner
    13.1 Discrete Event Calculus Reasoner Architecture
    13.2 Encoding SAT Problems
    13.3 Simple Examples
    13.4 Example: Telephone
    13.5 Discrete Event Calculus Reasoner Language

    Chapter 14: Applications
    14.1 Business Systems
    14.2 Natural Language Understanding
    14.3 Vision

    Part VI: Logical and Nonlogical Methods

    Chapter 15: Logics for Commonsense Reasoning
    15.1 Situation Calculus
    15.2 Features and Fluents
    15.3 Action Languages
    15.4 Fluent Calculus
    15.5 Discussion and Summary

    Chapter 16: Nonlogical Methods for Commonsense Reasoning
    16.1 Qualitative Reasoning
    16.2 Analogical Processing
    16.3 Probabilistic Reasoning
    16.4 Society of Mind

    Part VII: Conclusion
    Chapter 17: Conclusion

    Part VIII: Appendices
    Appendix A: Logical Foundations
    Appendix B: Equivalence of EC and DEC
    Appendix C: Events with Duration
    Appendix D: Answers to Selected Exercises

Product details

  • No. of pages: 432
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2006
  • Published: January 19, 2006
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080476612

About the Author

Erik T. Mueller

Affiliations and Expertise

IBM Watson Group and IBM Research, New York, USA

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Commonsense Reasoning"