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Knowledge Representation and Reasoning - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781558609327, 9780080489322

Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

1st Edition

Authors: Ronald Brachman Hector Levesque
Hardcover ISBN: 9781558609327
Paperback ISBN: 9781493303793
eBook ISBN: 9780080489322
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 19th May 2004
Page Count: 416
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction * 2 The Language of First-Order Logic *3 Expressing Knowledge * 4 Resolution * 5 Horn Logic * 6 Procedural Control of Reasoning * 7 Rules in Production Systems * 8 Object-Oriented Representation * 9 Structured Descriptions * 10 Inheritance * 11 Numerical Uncertainty *12 Defaults *13 Abductive Reasoning *14 Actions * 15 Planning *16 A Knowledge Representation Tradeoff * Bibliography * Index


Knowledge representation is at the very core of a radical idea for understanding intelligence. Instead of trying to understand or build brains from the bottom up, its goal is to understand and build intelligent behavior from the top down, putting the focus on what an agent needs to know in order to behave intelligently, how this knowledge can be represented symbolically, and how automated reasoning procedures can make this knowledge available as needed.

This landmark text takes the central concepts of knowledge representation developed over the last 50 years and illustrates them in a lucid and compelling way. Each of the various styles of representation is presented in a simple and intuitive form, and the basics of reasoning with that representation are explained in detail. This approach gives readers a solid foundation for understanding the more advanced work found in the research literature. The presentation is clear enough to be accessible to a broad audience, including researchers and practitioners in database management, information retrieval, and object-oriented systems as well as artificial intelligence. This book provides the foundation in knowledge representation and reasoning that every AI practitioner needs.

Key Features

  • Authors are well-recognized experts in the field who have applied the techniques to real-world problems
  • Presents the core ideas of KR&R in a simple straight forward approach, independent of the quirks of research systems
  • Offers the first true synthesis of the field in over a decade


Industry professionals and researchers in AI, database management, informaiton retireval, object-oriented systems, and programming languages.


No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2004
19th May 2004
Morgan Kaufmann
Hardcover ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


"This book clearly and concisely distills decades of work in AI on representing information in an efficient and general manner. The information is valuable not only for AI researchers, but also for people working on logical databases, XML, and the semantic web: read this book, and avoid reinventing the wheel!"
Henry Kautz, University of Washington

"Brachman and Levesque describe better than I have seen elsewhere, the range of formalisms between full first order logic at its most expressive and formalisms that compromise expressiveness for computation speed. Theirs are the most even-handed explanations I have seen."
John McCarthy, Stanford

"This textbook makes teaching my KR course much easier. It provides a solid foundation and starting point for further studies. While it does not (and cannot) cover all the topics that I tackle in an advanced course on KR, it provides the basics and the background assumptions behind KR research. Together with current research literature, it is the perfect choice for a graduate KR course."
Bernhard Nebel, University of Freiburg

"This is a superb, clearly written, comprehensive overview of nearly all the major issues, ideas, and techniques of this important branch of artificial intelligence, written by two of the masters of the field. The examples are well chosen, and the explanations are illuminating.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to review and praise a book that has sorely been needed by the KRR community."
Bill Rapaport, University at Buffalo

"A concise and lucid exposition of the major topics in knowledge representation, from two of the leading authorities in the field. It provides a thorough grounding, a wide variety of useful examples and exercises, and some thought-provoking new ideas for the expert reader."
Stuart Russell, UC Berkeley

"Brachman and Levesque have laid much of the foundations of the field of knowledge representation and reasoning. This textbook provides a lucid and comprehensive introduction to the field. It is written with the same clarity and gift for exposition as their many research publications. The text will become an invaluable resource for students and researchers alike."
Bart Selman, Cornell University

"KR&R is known as "core AI" for a reason -- it embodies some of the most basic conceptualizations and technical approaches in the field. And no researchers are more qualified to provide an in-depth introduction to the area than Brachman and Levesque, who have been at the forefront of KR&R for two decades. The book is clearly written, and is intelligently comprehensive. This is the definitive book on KR&R, and it is long overdue."
Yoav Shoham, Stanford University

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Ronald Brachman

Hector Levesque