Similarity, Approximations and Vagueness

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Abstract

The relation of similarity is essential in understanding and developing frameworks for reasoning with vague and approximate concepts. There is a wide spectrum of choice as to what properties we associate with similarity and such choices determine the nature of vague and approximate concepts defined in terms of these relations. Additionally, robotic systems naturally have to deal with vague and approximate concepts due to the limitations in reasoning and sensor capabilities. Halpern [1] introduces the use of subjective and objective states in a modal logic formalizing vagueness and distinctions in transitivity when an agent reasons in the context of sensory and other limitations. He also relates these ideas to a solution to the Sorities and other paradoxes. In this paper, we generalize and apply the idea of similarity and tolerance spaces [2,3,4,5], a means of constructing approximate and vague concepts from such spaces and an explicit way to distinguish between an agent’s objective and subjective states. We also show how some of the intuitions from Halpern can be used with similarity spaces to formalize the above-mentioned Sorities and other paradoxes.