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How can we reason?

To a certain extent this will depend on the knowledge representation chosen. Although a good knowledge representation scheme has to allow easy, natural and plausible reasoning. Listed below are very broad methods of how we may reason. We will study specific instances of some of these methods in the next few lectures.

Formal reasoning
-- Basic rules of inference with logic knowledge representations.
Procedural reasoning
-- Uses procedures that specify how to perhaps solve (sub) problems.
Reasoning by analogy
-- Humans are good at this, more difficult for AI systems. E.g. If we are asked Can robins fly?. The system might reason that robins are like sparrows and it knows sparrows can fly so ...
Generalisation and abstraction
-- Again humans effective at this. This is basically getting towards learning and understanding methods.
Meta-level reasoning
-- Once again uses knowledge about about what you know and perhaps ordering it in some kind of importance.