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Hardcover | $15.75 Short | £13.95 | 443 pp. | 6.3 x 8.9 in | February 1997 | ISBN: 9780262193849
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Solving the Frame Problem

A Mathematical Investigation of the Common Sense Law of Inertia


In 1969, John McCarthy and Pat Hayes uncovered a problem that has haunted the field of artificial intelligence ever since--the frame problem. The problem arises when logic is used to describe the effects of actions and events. Put simply, it is the problem of representing what remains unchanged as a result of an action or event. Many researchers in artificial intelligence believe that its solution is vital to the realization of the field's goals. Solving the Frame Problem presents the various approaches to the frame problem that have been proposed over the years. The author presents the material chronologically--as an unfolding story rather than as a body of theory to be learned by rote. There are lessons to be learned even from the dead ends researchers have pursued, for they deepen our understanding of the issues surrounding the frame problem. In the book's concluding chapters, the author offers his own work on event calculus, which he claims comes very close to a complete solution to the frame problem. Artificial Intelligence series

About the Author

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. He is the author of Solving the Frame Problem (MIT Press) and Embodiment and the Inner Life.


“Shanahan gives a clear exposition of the AI problem in general and logical AI in particular. He goes on to a clear exposition of the frame problem and many approaches to its solution. Much of this will become accepted as authoritative.”
John McCarthy, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
“The frame problem is one of the central theoretical issues of artificial intelligence, and considerable progress in the study of this problem has been made over the last years. Shanahan's book provides a clear and comprehensive treatment of this work. It will be appreciated by everyone interested in the logical foundations of artificial intelligence.”
Vladimir Lifschitz, Gottesman Family Centennial Professorin Computer Sciences, University of Texas at Austin