Reasoning about Fluids via Molecular Collections

John W. Collins, Kenneth D. Forbus

Hayes has identified two distinct ontologies for reasoning about liquids. Most qualitative physics research has focused on applying and generalizing his contained-liquid ontology. This paper presents a technique for generating descriptions using the molecular collection (MC) ontology, a specialization of his alternate ontology which represents liquids in terms of little "pieces of stuff" traveling through a system. We claim that MC descriptions are parasitic on the Contained-Stuff ontology, and present rules for generating MC descriptions given a Qualitative Process theory model using contained stuffs. We illustrate these rules using several implemented examples and discuss how this representation can be used to draw complex conclusions.

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