Circumscriptive theories: A logic-based framework for knowledge representation [Book Review]

Journal of Philosophical Logic 17 (4):391 - 441 (1988)
The use of circumscription for formalizing commonsense knowledge and reasoning requires that a circumscription policy be selected for each particular application: we should specify which predicates are circumscribed, which predicates and functions are allowed to vary, and what priorities between the circumscribed predicates are established. The circumscription policy is usually described either informally or using suitable metamathematical notation. In this paper we propose a simple and general formalism which permits describing circumscription policies by axioms, included in the knowledge base along with the axioms describing the objects of reasoning. The new formalism is illustrated by recasting some of the familiar applications of circumscription in its terms
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