A Formal Approach to Describing Action Concepts in Taxonomical Knowledge Bases

  • Christel Kemke
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2871)


This paper outlines a formal theory for defining action concepts in taxonomical knowledge representation languages, in a form closely related to description logics. The central problems of defining an extensional semantics, and, based on this, a subsumption/specialization relation as well as the inheritance of descriptions for action concepts is addressed, as an extension to the respective notions for static object concepts. The suggested approach is based on the view of actions as transformers between world states, where a world state corresponds to an instantiation of object concepts coherent with the knowledge base. A model-theoretic, extensional semantics for action concepts is defined – in accordance with the semantics for object concepts – as the set of world states which are in the domain/ range of the transformation function associated with the action concept, as specified through the precondition and effect formulae stated in the action description. The specialization/subsumption relation for action concepts is defined based on the set inclusion of the sets of world states which fulfill the precondition (effect) formula.


Knowledge Representation Description Logic Atomic Formula World State Object Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christel Kemke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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