Inferring Building Blocks For Knowledge Representation
Sharon C. Salveter SUNY, Stony Brook
A knowledge-representation scheme that is based on frame-like structures builds meaning structures by instantiating structural templates. These structural templates, which can be viewed as the building blocks of a representation scheme, are generally predefined by the representation-scheme designer. In this chapter we discuss the nature of the structural templates and why they are useful, and we describe a program that is able to infer its own simple set of structural templates.
A computer-based knowledge-representation scheme is any techinque used to represent meaning by well-defined meaning structures that correspond to objects, situations, events, or concepts about which we want to store information. Because no meaning structures may be indefinitely decomposed, they must be built out of some sort of indivisible basic units that carry structural or semantic information. We distinguish two general kinds of basic units, which we call atoms and primitives.
Atoms are the smallest physical units a program may manipulate. Atoms may be characters, words, or links; more primitively, they may be memory locations or contents. For example, in a representation such as