Report Number: CS-TR-94-1501
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Comuputer Science
Title: Deriving Properties of Belief Update from Theories of Action
Author: Val, Alvaro del
Author: Shoham, Yoav
Date: February 1994
Abstract: We present an approach to database update as a form of non monotonic temporal reasoning, the main idea of which is the (circumscriptive) minimization of changes with respect to a set of facts declared ``persistent by default.'' The focus of the paper is on the relation between this approach and the update semantics recently proposed by Katsuno and Mendelzon. Our contribution in this regard is twofold: - We prove a representation theorem for KM semantics in terms of a restricted subfamily of the operators defined by our construction. - We show how the KM semantics can be generalized by relaxing our construction in a number of ways, each justified in certain intuitive circumstances and each corresponding to one specific postulate. It follows that there are reasonable update operators outside the KM family. Our approach is not dependent for its plausibility on this connection with KM semantics. Rather, it provides a relatively rich and flexible framework in which the frame and ramification problems can be solved in a systematic way by reasoning about default persistence of facts.