Skip navigation
Hardcover | $11.75 Short | £9.95 | 282 pp. | 7 x 9 in | February 2001 | ISBN: 9780262122320
eBook | $36.95 Short | February 2001 | ISBN: 9780262290654
Mouseover for Online Attention Data

The Logic of Knowledge Bases


The idea of knowledge bases lies at the heart of symbolic, or "traditional," artificial intelligence. A knowledge-based system decides how to act by running formal reasoning procedures over a body of explicitly represented knowledge—a knowledge base. The system is not programmed for specific tasks; rather, it is told what it needs to know and expected to infer the rest.

This book is about the logic of such knowledge bases. It describes in detail the relationship between symbolic representations of knowledge and abstract states of knowledge, exploring along the way the foundations of knowledge, knowledge bases, knowledge-based systems, and knowledge representation and reasoning. Assuming some familiarity with first-order predicate logic, the book offers a new mathematical model of knowledge that is general and expressive yet more workable in practice than previous models. The book presents a style of semantic argument and formal analysis that would be cumbersome or completely impractical with other approaches. It also shows how to treat a knowledge base as an abstract data type, completely specified in an abstract way by the knowledge-level operations defined over it.

About the Author

Hector J. Levesque is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Logic of Knowledge Bases and Thinking as Computation: A First Course (both published by the MIT Press).