We study the learning power of iterated belief revision methods. Successful learning is understood as convergence to correct, i.e., true, beliefs. We focus on the issue of universality: whether or not a particular belief revision method is able to learn everything that in principle is learnable. We provide a general framework for interpreting belief revision policies as learning methods. We focus on three popular cases: conditioning, lexicographic revision, and minimal revision. Our main result is that conditioning and lexicographic revision can (...) drive a universal learning mechanism, provided that the observations include only and all true data, and provided that a non-standard, i.e., non-well-founded prior plausibility relation is allowed. We show that a standard, i.e., well-founded belief revision setting is in general too narrow to guarantee universality of any learning method based on belief revision. We also show that minimal revision is not universal. Finally, we consider situations in which observational errors may occur. Given a fairness condition, which says that only finitely many errors occur, and that every error is eventually corrected, we show that lexicographic revision is still universal in this setting, while the other two methods are not. (shrink)
Next SectionWe discuss the thesis formulated by Hintikka (1973) that certain natural language sentences require non-linear quantification to express their meaning. We investigate sentences with combinations of quantifiers similar to Hintikka's examples and propose a novel alternative reading expressible by linear formulae. This interpretation is based on linguistic and logical observations. We report on our experiments showing that people tend to interpret sentences similar to Hintikka sentence in a way consistent with our interpretation.
This paper discusses the possibility of modelling inductive inference (Gold 1967) in dynamic epistemic logic (see e.g. van Ditmarsch et al. 2007). The general purpose is to propose a semantic basis for designing a modal logic for learning in the limit. First, we analyze a variety of epistemological notions involved in identification in the limit and match it with traditional epistemic and doxastic logic approaches. Then, we provide a comparison of learning by erasing (Lange et al. 1996) and iterated epistemic (...) update (Baltag and Moss 2004) as analyzed in dynamic epistemic logic. We show that finite identification can be modelled in dynamic epistemic logic, and that the elimination process of learning by erasing can be seen as iterated belief-revision modelled in dynamic doxastic logic. Finally, we propose viewing hypothesis spaces as temporal frames and discuss possible advantages of that perspective. (shrink)
The paper is concerned with the psychological relevance of a logical model for deductive reasoning. We propose a new way to analyze logical reasoning in a deductive version of the Mastermind game implemented within a popular Dutch online educational learning system (Math Garden). Our main goal is to derive predictions about the difficulty of Deductive Mastermind tasks. By means of a logical analysis we derive the number of steps needed for solving these tasks (a proxy for working memory load). Our (...) model is based on the analytic tableaux method, known from proof theory. We associate the difficulty of Deductive Mastermind game-items with the size of the corresponding logical trees obtained by the tableaux method. We derive empirical hypotheses from this model. A large group of students (over 37 thousand children, 5–12 years of age) played the Deductive Mastermind game, which gave empirical difficulty ratings of all 321 game-items. The results show that our logical approach predicts these item ratings well, which supports the psychological relevance of our model. (shrink)
We discuss the thesis formulated by Hintikka that certain natural language sentences require non-linear quantification to express their meaning. We investigate sentences with combinations of quantifiers similar to Hintikka's examples and propose a novel alternative reading expressible by linear formulae. This interpretation is based on linguistic and logical observations. We report on our experiments showing that people tend to interpret sentences similar to Hintikka sentence in a way consistent with our interpretation.
The paper presents two case studies of multi-agent information exchange involving generalized quantiﬁers. We focus on scenarios in which agents successfully converge to knowledge on the basis of the information about the knowledge of others, so-called Muddy Children puzzle and Top Hat puzzle. We investigate the relationship between certain invariance properties of quantiﬁers and the successful convergence to knowledge in such situations. We generalize the scenarios to account for public announcements with arbitrary quantiﬁers. We show that the Muddy Children puzzle (...) is solvable for any number of agents if and only if the quantiﬁer in the announcement is positively active (satisﬁes a version of the variety condition). In order to get the characterization result, we propose a new concise logical modeling of the puzzle based on the number triangle representation of generalized quantiﬁers. In a similar vein, we also study the Top Hat puzzle. We observe that in this case an announcement needs to satisfy stronger conditions in order to guarantee solvability. Hence, we introduce a new property, called bounded thickness, and show that the solvability of the Top Hat puzzle for arbitrary number of agents is equivalent to the announcement being 1-thick. (shrink)
We study a generalization of the Muddy Children puzzle by allowing public announcements with arbitrary generalized quantifiers. We propose a new concise logical modeling of the puzzle based on the number triangle representation of quantifi ers. Our general aim is to discuss the possibility of epistemic modeling that is cut for specifi c informational dynamics. Moreover, we show that the puzzle is solvable for any number of agents if and only if the quanti fier in the announcement is positively active (...) (satis es a form of variety). (shrink)
Formal learning theory constitutes an attempt to describe and explain the phenomenon of learning, in particular of language acquisition. The considerations in this domain are also applicable in philosophy of science, where it can be interpreted as a description of the process of scientific inquiry. The theory focuses on various properties of the process of hypothesis change over time. Treating conjectures as informational states, we link the process of conjecture-change to epistemic update. We reconstruct and analyze the temporal aspect of (...) learning in the context of dynamic and temporal logics of epistemic change. We first introduce the basic formal notions of learning theory and basic epistemic logic. We provide a translation of the components of learning scenarios into the domain of epistemic logic. Then, we propose a characterization of finite identifiability in an epistemic temporal language. In the end we discuss consequences and possible extensions of our work. (shrink)
Natural languages vary in their quantity expressions, but the variation seems to be constrained by general properties, so-called universals. Their explanations have been sought among constraints of human cognition, communication, complexity, and pragmatics. In this article, we apply a state-of-the-art language coordination model to the semantic domain of quantities to examine whether two quantity universals—monotonicity and convexity—arise as a result of coordination. Assuming precise number perception by the agents, we evolve communicatively usable quantity terminologies in two separate conditions: a numeric-based (...) condition in which agents communicate about a number of objects and a quotient-based condition in which agents communicate about the proportions. We find out that both universals take off in all conditions but only convexity almost entirely dominates the emergent languages. Additionally, we examine whether the perceptual constraints of the agents can contribute to the further development of universals. We compare the degrees of convexity and monotonicity of languages evolving in populations of agents with precise and approximate number sense. The results suggest that approximate number sense significantly reinforces monotonicity and leads to further enhancement of convexity. Last but not least, we show that the properties of the evolved quantifiers match certain invariance properties from generalized quantifier theory. (shrink)
We provide a computational model of semantic alignment among communicating agents constrained by social and cognitive pressures. We use our model to analyze the effects of social stratification and a local transmission bottleneck on the coordination of meaning in isolated dyads. The analysis suggests that the traditional approach to learning—understood as inferring prescribed meaning from observations—can be viewed as a special case of semantic alignment, manifesting itself in the behaviour of socially imbalanced dyads put under mild pressure of a local (...) transmission bottleneck. Other parametrizations of the model yield different long-term effects, including lack of convergence or convergence on simple meanings only. (shrink)
This paper generalizes Muddy Children puzzle to account for a large class of possible public announcements with various quantifiers. We identify conditions for solvability of the extended puzzle, with its classical version as a particular case. The characterization suggests a novel way of modeling multi-agent epistemic reasoning. The framework is based on the concept of number triangle. The advantage of our approach over more general formalizations in epistemic logics, like Dynamic Epistemic Logic, is that it gives models of linear size (...) w.r.t. the number of agents. Therefore, it is computationally plausible for modeling agents’ internal perspective. (shrink)