An Analogy Ontology for Integrating Analogical Processing and First-Principles Reasoning

Kenneth D. Forbus and Thomas Mostek, Northwestern University; Ron Ferguson, Georgia Institute of Technology

This paper describes an analogy ontology, a formal representation of some key ideas in analogical processing, that supports the integration of analogical processing with first-principles reasoners. The ontology is based on Gentner’s structure-mapping theory, a psychological account of analogy and similarity. The semantics of the ontology are enforced via procedural attachment, using cognitive simulations of structure-mapping to provide analogical processing services. Queries that include analogical operations can be formulated in the same way as standard logical inference, and analogical processing systems in turn can call on the services of first-principles reasoners for creating cases and validating their conjectures. We illustrate the utility of the analogy ontology by demonstrating how it has been used in three systems: A crisis management analogical reasoner that answers questions about international incidents, a course of action analogical critiquer that provides feedback about military plans, and a comparison question-answering system for knowledge capture. These systems rely on large, general-purpose knowledge bases created by other research groups, thus demonstrating the generality and utility of these ideas.

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