Combining time points and time intervals in a hybrid knowledge representation formalism

  • Paolo Terenziani
Communications Knowledge Representation
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 542)


In the paper, I illustrate an approach for combining time points and time intervals. I propose a uniform definition of time points and time intervals and of the temporal relationships between them, and I describe an integrated temporal reasoner which operates on such a representation. Such a reasoner allows one, among other things, to subdivide an intractable problem (constraint propagation in the general case, in which temporal relations between time points, between time points and time intervals and between time intervals are considered at the same time) into (a possibly intractable number of) smaller tractable subproblems (constraint propagation between time points), and adopts a general heuristic in order to improve efficiency.

The paper shows how such an approach has been developed by adopting BACK, a standard Hybrid Knowledge Representation formalism.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    J. Allen: Maintaining Knowledge about Temporal Intervals”, Comm ACM 26(11) 832–843 (1983).Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    J. Allen: “Towards a General Theory of Action and Time”, Artificial Intelligence 23, 123–154 (1984).Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    R. Detcher, I. Meiri, J. Pearl: “Temporal Constraint Networks”, Proc. 1st Conf. on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, 83–93, Toronto (1989).Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    M. Ghallab, M. Alaoui: “Managing efficiently temporal relations through indexed spanning trees”, Proc. IJCAI'89 (1989).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    E. Grasso, L. Lesmo, V. Lombardo, P. M. Maccario, R. Salato, P. Terenziani: “Semantic Interpretation of Tense, Actionality and Aspect”, Proc. ECAI'90, 320–325 (1990).Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    H. Kamp: “Some remarks on the logic of change. Part I”, Guenthner F (ed), Proc. Stuttgart Conference on the Logic of Tense and Quantification, North Holland, 135–179 (1980).Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    R. Kowalsky, M. Sergot: “A Logic-based Calculus of Events”, New Generation Computing 4, 67–95 (1986).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    P. Ladkin: “Time Representation: A Taxonomy of Interval Relations”, Proc. AAAI-86, 360–366, Philadelphia (1986).Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    H.J. Levesque: “A Knowledge-level Account of Abduction”, Proc. IJCAI 89, 1061–1067, Detroit (1989).Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    D. McDermott: “A Temporal Logic for Reasoning about Processes and Plans”, Cognitive Science 6, 101–105 (1982).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    S.A. Miller, L.K. Schubert: “Time Revisited”, Computational Intelligence (6), 108–118 (1990).Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    M. Moens, M. Steedman: “Temporal Ontology and Temporal Reference”, Computational Linguistics 14 (2), 15–28, (1988).Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    A. Mourelatos: “Events, Processes and States”, Linguistics and Philosophy 2, 415–434 (1978).Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    B. Nebel, K. Von Luck: “Hybrid Reasoning in BACK”, Z.Ras, L. Saitta (eds), Methodologies for Intelligent Systems 3, North Holland, 260–269 (1988).Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    M. Poesio: “Toward a Hybrid Representation of Time”, Proc. ECAI-88, 247–252 Munchen (1988).Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    A. Schmiedel: “A Temporal Terminological Logic”, Proc. AAAI'90,640–645 (1990).Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Y. Shoham: “Temporal Logics in AI: Semantical and Ontological Considerations”, Artificial Intelligence 33, 89–104 (1987).Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    F. Song, R. Cohen: “The Interpretation of Temporal Relations in Narrative”, Proc. AAAI 88, Saint Paul, MN, 745–750.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    P. Terenziani, P. Torasso, L. Farinasso, L. Mantegazza: “Causation and Time in a Hybrid Knowledge Representation Formalism”, Methodologies for Intelligent Systems 5, Z.W. Ras, M. Zemankova, M.L. Emrich (eds), North Holland, 329–336 (1990).Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    P. Terenziani: “A Rule based Approach to the Semantic Interpretation of Natural Language”, to appear in Computers and Artificial Intelligence (3), (1991).Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    E. Tsang: “Time Structures for AI”, Proc. IJCAI 87, 456–461, Milan (1987).Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    P. VanBeek: “Approximation Algorithms for Temporal Reasoning”, Proc. IJCAI 89, Milan, 1291–1297.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    M. Vilain: “A System for Reasoning about Time”, Proc. AAAI'82, 197–201 (1982).Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    M. Vilain, H. Kautz: “Constraint Propagation Algorithms for Temporal Reasoning”, Proc. AAAI-86, 376–382, Philadelphia (1986).Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    M. Vilain, H. Kautz, P. vanBeek: “Constraint Propagation Algorithms for temporal reasoning: a Revised Report”, Readings in Qualitative Reasoning about Phisical Systems, D.S. Weld, J. DeKleer (eds.), Morgan Kaufmann, 373–381 (1990).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Terenziani
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversita' di TorinoTorinoItaly

Personalised recommendations