Encyclopedia of Machine Learning

2010 Edition
| Editors: Claude Sammut, Geoffrey I. Webb


  • Antonis C. Kakas
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30164-8_1


Abduction is a form of reasoning, sometimes described as “deduction in reverse,” whereby given a rule that “AfollowsfromB” and the observed result of “A” we infer the condition “B” of the rule. More generally, given a theory, T, modeling a domain of interest and an observation, “A, ” we infer a hypothesis “B” such that the observation follows deductively from T augmented with “B. ” We think of “B” as a possible explanation for the observation according to the given theory that contains our rule. This new information and its consequences (or ramifications) according to the given theory can be considered as the result of a (or part of a) learning process based on the given theory and driven by the observations that are explained by abduction. Abduction can be combined with induction in different ways to enhance this learning process.

Motivation and Background

Abduction is, along with induction, a syntheticform of reasoning whereby it generates, in its explanations, new...

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Recommended Reading

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  • Antonis C. Kakas

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