Reasoning and Acting in Time

Haythem O. Ismail, State University of New York at Buffalo

A natural language competent embodied cognitive agent should satisfy two requirements. First, it should interleave reasoning and acting in a changing world where errors and interrupts may occur. Second, it should be able to communicate in natural language about the past, present, and future states of its environment. This imposes certain restrictions on the logic and reasoning engine used by the agent. The logical language needs to be suitable for representing natural language utterances, knowledge about acts, and perceptual information. In addition, it should include a representation of the notion of the present that reflects the semantics of the English "now". In our model, the present is represented by a NOW pointer that moves whenever the agent senses a change in the world. Reasoning problems emerge when the agent is reasoning about NOW, and the very process of reasoning results in NOW moving.

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