Building Concept Representations from Reusable Components

Peter Clark, Bruce Porter

Our goal is to build knowledge-based systems capable of answering a wide variety of questions, including questions that are unanticipated when the knowledge base is built. For systems to achieve this level of competence and generality, they require the ability to dynamically construct new concept representations, and to do so in response to the questions and tasks posed to them. Our approach to meeting this requirement is to build knowledge bases of generalized, representational components, and to develop methods for automatically composing components on demand. This work extends the normal inheritance approach used in frame-based systems, and imports ideas from several different areas of AI, in particular compositional modeling, terminological reasoning, and ontological engineering. The contribution of this work is a novel integration of these methods that improves the efficiency of building knowledge bases and the robustness of using them.

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