Learning qualitative physics reasoning from regime analysis

  • Waldir L. Roque
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 737)


One of the very basic rules we learn in an introductory course of physics is that two physical quantities, say Q1 and Q2, can only be compared when they have the same dimensional representation and, in addition, should be in the same system of units. This rule is also frequently applied to discard non-matching physcial formulae. In other words, the dimensional consistence of physical formulae must be fulfilled.

The rule we are talking about is in fact known as the Principle of Dimensional Homogeneity (PDH), which states that any physical law has to be dimensionally consistent to be meaningful.

In this paper we show that using the PDH and results from the Regime Analysis, it is possible to reason qualitatively about a physical system. In addition, as the whole process is algorithmic, this allows automating the reasoning through a symbolic computer system. The system QDR-Qualitative Dimensional Reasoner has been developed for this task.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Waldir L. Roque
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciência da ComputaçãoUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolis, SCBrazil

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