Mixing Strict and Defeasible Inheritance

John F. Horty, Richmond H. Thomason

Commonsense or expert knowledge of any rich domain involves an intricate mixture of strict and defeasible information. The importance of representing defeasible information in an inheritance system has been widely recognized, but it is not enough for a system to represent only defeasible information: without the ability to represent strict information as well, the system cannot represent definitional relations among concepts. As a response to this difficulty, we present a well-defined and intuitively attractive theory of inheritance for IS-A hierarchies containing strict and defeasible links types mixed together.

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