Tolerance Spaces and Approximative Representational Structures
In traditional approaches to knowledge representation, notions such as tolerance measures on data, distance between objects or individuals, and similarity measures between primitive and complex data structures are rarely considered. There is often a need to use tolerance and similarity measures in processes of data and knowledge abstraction because many complex systems which have knowledge representation components such as robots or software agents receive and process data which is incomplete, noisy, approximative and uncertain. This paper presents a framework for recursively constructing arbitrarily complex knowledge structures which may be compared for similarity, distance and approximativeness. It integrates nicely with more traditional knowledge representation techniques and attempts to bridge a gap between approximate and crisp knowledge representation. It can be viewed in part as a generalization of approximate reasoning techniques used in rough set theory. The strategy that will be used is to define tolerance and distance measures on the value sets associated with attributes or primitive data domains associated with particular applications. These tolerance and distance measures will be induced through the different levels of data and knowledge abstraction in complex representational structures. Once the tolerance and similarity measures are in place, an important structuring generalization can be made where the idea of a tolerance space is introduced. Use of these ideas is exemplified using two application domains related to sensor modeling and communication between agents.
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