Preliminary Steps Toward the Automation of Induction

Stuart Russell

Rational inductive behaviour is strongly influenced by existing knowledge of the world. This paper begins to elucidate the formal relationship between the base-level induction to be attempted, the direct evidence for it (positive and negative instances) and the indirect evidence (higher-level regularities in the world). By constructing a program to search the space of forms of higher-level regularity WC discover some important new forms which have direct application to analogy, single-instance generalization and enumerative induction in general. We outline a theory which we hope is the first step towards the construction of powerful and robust learning systems.

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