Report Abstracts

The PDF format is used to allow ease of reuse of figures and text, quoted with citation.

Publication citations are given where a version of the report has been published. Often material has been edited in publication and the cited version differs to some extent.

Knowledge Representation and Acquisition

A computer aid to knowledge engineering, Mildred L. G. Shaw & Brian R. Gaines, A computer aid to knowledge engineering. Proceedings of British Computer Society Conference on Expert Systems. Cambridge, British Computer Society: 263-271, 1983. PDF.

Advances in the technology of expert systems have made it possible to implement and operate cost-effective systems in complex domains of great practical importance. However, the knowledge engineering necessary to set up an expert system in a new domain is currently labour-intensive and requires skilled staff to elicit and codify the knowledge of an expert. This paper outlines a methodology for knowledge elicitation that has been implemented in a computer program that interacts with an expert to enable him to express the constructs underlying his knowledge. Some preliminary experiments on validating the system by using it to re-construct the Business Information Analysis and Integration Technique are outlined, and directions for further empirical studies of the elicitation of accountancy expertise are indicated.

Interactive knowledge elicitation, Mildred L. G. Shaw, Proceedings of CIPS SESSION 84, 202-208, Calgary: Canadian Information Processing Society, 1984. PDF.

This paper outlines a methodology for knowledge elicitation that has been implemented in a computer program that interacts with an expert to enable him to express the constructs underlying his knowledge. Experiments on validating the system by using it to re-construct the Business Information Analysis and Integration Technique (BIAIT) are reported.

Proceedings of the Knowledge Acquisition For Knowledge-Based Systems Workshop, John H. Boose & Brian R. Gaines (Eds.), 1986 PDF.

The proceedings of the first Knowledge Acquisition For Knowledge-Based Systems Workshop, sponsored by AAAI and held in Banff, Alberta, October 1986.

Integrated knowledge base building environments, Alain T. Rapport and Brian R Gaines, Knowledge Acquisition, 2, 51-71, 1990. PDF.

Knowledge base building environments must progress in two important directions: (i) increased participation of domain experts in the knowledge design process through new computational models and effective man-machine interfaces; and (ii) automated knowledge acquisition tools to facilitate the overt expression of knowledge. This paper presents the integration of a knowledge acquisition methodology with a performance system. The resulting architecture represents a combination of techniques from psychology, cognitive sciences and artificial intelligence. New dimensions emerge from this implementation and integration both at the theoretical an d practical levels. The overall system is not linked to a particular control structure and is not task dependent. We discuss the value of intermediate representations in this context and the role of different approaches to the induction process. Topological induction is particularly efficient in the elicitation process and stresses the importance of interactive inductive techniques with participation from the experts. While the knowledge acquisition tool provides an analysis and structuring of the domain knowledge, the control is implemented using the performance system's interface. Therefore, both modules participate in the overall knowledge acquisition process. Beyond the integration of these knowledge acquisition and performance systems, the architecture can also be integrated with databases, text analysis techniques, and hypermedia systems.

Designing expert systems for usability, Brian R Gaines, In Shackel, B. & Richardson, S. Human Factors for Informatics Usability. pp. 207-246. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. PDF.

This paper surveys the human factors problems of using expert systems technology including both knowledge acquisition and application. The variety of dialog styles in expert systems is illustrated and analyzed. The basic paradigm shifts brought about by developments in knowledge-based systems in information technology are described. The applicability of existing human factors guidelines for human-computer interaction is discussed. Problems in knowledge acquisition for expert systems are reviewed and some of the techniques for automating the knowledge engineering process are described. The usability problems of expert systems are seen as a superset of those for earlier generations of informatic system, involving new levels of complexity as human-computer interaction takes place at the level of knowledge processes, and requiring major interdisciplinary study.

An interactive visual language for term subsumption languages, Brian R Gaines, IJCAI'91: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. 817-823, 1991. PDF.

A visual language is defined equivalent in expressive power to term subsumption languages expressed in textual form. To each knowledge representation primitive there corresponds a visual form expressing it concisely and completely. The visual language and textual languages are intertranslatable. Expressions in the language are graphs of labeled nodes and directed or undirected arcs. The nodes are labeled textually or iconically and their types are denoted by six different outlines. Computer-readable expressions in the language may be created through a structure editor that ensures that syntactic constraints are obeyed. The editor exports knowledge structures to a knowledge representation server computing subsumption and recognition, and maintaining a hybrid knowledge base of concept definitions and individual assertions. The server can respond to queries graphically displaying the results in the visual language in editable form. Knowledge structures can be entered directly in the editor or imported from knowledge acquisition tools such as those supporting repertory grid elicitation and empirical induction. Knowledge structures can be exported to a range of knowledge-based systems.

Integrating rules in term subsumption knowledge representation servers, Brian R Gaines, AAAI'91: Proceedings of the Ninth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 458-463, 1991. PDF.

This paper addresses the integration of services for rule-based reasoning in knowledge representation servers based on term subsumption languages. As an alternative to previous constructions of rules as concept¨concept links, a mechanism is proposed based on intensional roles implementing the axiom of comprehension in set theory. This has the benefit of providing both rules as previously defined, and set aggregation, using a simple mechanism that is of identical computational complexity to that for rules alone. The extensions proposed have been implemented as part of KRS, a knowledge representation server written as a class library in C++. The paper gives an example of their application to the ripple-down rule technique for large-scale knowledge base operation, acquisition and maintenance.

Documents as expert systems, Brian R Gaines & Mildred L G Shaw, In M. A. Bramer & R. W. Milne (Eds.), Research and Development in Expert Systems IX, 331-349, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. PDF.

This paper is written in a document production tool that appears to a user as a word processor but also acts as an expert system shell with frame and rule representations supporting deductive inference. The electronic version of the document is active, providing typographic text and page layout facilities, versioning, hypermedia sound and movies, hypertext links, and knowledge structures represented in a visual language. It can be read as a hypermedia document and also interrogated as a knowledgebased system for problem-solving. The paper version of the document, which you are now reading, is produced by printing the electronic version. It loses its active functionality but continues to act as a record of the knowledge in the document. The overall technology has been developed as an alternative approach to the dissemination of knowledge bases. It also provides a different interface to knowledge-based systems that emulates document interfaces with which many users are already familiar.

On the relationship between repertory grid and term subsumption knowledge structures: theory, practice and tools, Mildred L G Shaw & Brian R Gaines, In M. A. Bramer & R. W. Milne (Eds.), Research and Development in Expert Systems IX, 125-143, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. PDF.

A number of practical knowledge acquisition methodologies and tools have been based on the elicitation and analysis of repertory grids. These result in frames and rules that are exported to knowledge-based system shells. In the development of repertory grid tools, the original methodology has been greatly extended to encompass the data types required in knowledge-based systems. However, this has been done on a fairly pragmatic basis, and it has not been clear how the resultant knowledge acquisition systems relate to psychological, or computational, theories of knowledge representation. This paper shows that there is a close correspondence between the intensional logics of knowledge, belief and action developed in the personal construct psychology underlying repertory grids, and the intensional logics for term subsumption knowledge representation underlying KL-ONE-like systems. The paper gives an overview of personal construct psychology and its expression as an intensional logic describing the cognitive processes of anticipatory agents, and uses this to survey knowledge acquisition tools deriving from personal construct psychology.

Integrated knowledge acquisition architectures, Brian R Gaines & Mildred L G Shaw, Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, 1, 9-34, 1992). PDF.

An architecture for knowledge acquisition systems is proposed based upon the integration of existing methodologies, techniques and tools which have been developed within the knowledge acquisition, machine learning, expert systems, hypermedia and knowledge representation research communities. Existing tools are analyzed within a common framework to show that their integration can be achieved in a natural and principled fashion. A system design is synthesized from what already exists, putting a diversity of well-founded and widely used approaches to knowledge acquisition within an integrative framework. The design is intended to be clean and simple, easy to understand, and easy to implement. A detailed architecture for integrated knowledge acquisition systems is proposed that also derives from parallel cognitive and theoretical studies.

Open architecture multimedia documents, Brian R Gaines & Mildred L G Shaw, Proceedings of ACM Multimedia 93, 137-146, 1993. PDF.

An open architecture multimedia document publication system is described which integrates a number of different representation technologies to provide a medium offering a wide spectrum of usage, from emulation of current paper publication, through electronic document delivery, multimedia inclusion of video and sound, structured hypermedia linkage, and formal knowledge representation supporting simulation and inference. The research is targeted on exploring new forms of scholarly communication, and the publication system supports collaborative document development, the authentication of disseminated material, and the citation, annotation and reuse of such material. The document publication system provides a rich word processing and page makeup environment with all the facilities normally expected, and adds multimedia, hypermedia and computational facilities incrementally and naturally, with careful attention to the usability of the human-computer interface. The result is an interactive document in which knowledge is represented in a variety of ways, some targeted on human interaction, some targeted on computational analysis, simulation and inference, and such that the document can be printed as a conventional paper or book losing the dynamic aspects of the material but retaining the visual representation.

KWrite open architecture multimedia document system demonstration, Brian R Gaines & Mildred L G Shaw, CD-ROM accompanying Proceedings of ACM Multimedia 93, 1993. HTML/MOV.

A movie demonstrating KWrite, an open architecture multimedia document publication system, being used to develop, publish and use an active document in which the diagrams are knowledge structures in the form of semantic networks. They can be edited from within the document and interrogated by other applications as the knowledge base of an expert system. The accompanying text describes how the movie was made.

Eliciting knowledge and transferring it effectively to a knowledge-based system, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering 5(1) 4-14, 1993. PDF.

Knowledge acquisition research supports the generation of knowledge-based systems through the development of principles, techniques, methodologies and tools. What differentiates knowledge-based system development from conventional system development is the emphasis on in-depth understanding and formalization of the relations between the conceptual structures underlying expert performance and the computational structures capable of emulating that performance. Personal construct psychology is a theory of individual and group psychological and social processes that has been used extensively in knowledge acquisition research to model the cognitive processes of human experts. The psychology takes a constructivist position appropriate to the modeling of human knowledge processes but develops this through the characterization of human conceptual structures in axiomatic terms that translate directly to computational form. In particular, there is a close correspondence between the intensional logics of knowledge, belief and action developed in personal construct psychology, and the intensional logics for formal knowledge representation developed in artificial intelligence research as term subsumption, or KL-ONE-like, systems. This paper gives an overview of personal construct psychology and its expression as an intensional logic describing the cognitive processes of anticipatory agents, and uses this to survey knowledge acquisition tools deriving from personal construct psychology.

Knowledge acquisition tools based on personal construct psychology, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw, Knowledge Engineering Review 8(1) 49-85, 1993. PDF.

Knowledge acquisition research supports the generation of knowledge-based systems through the development of principles, techniques, methodologies and tools. What differentiates knowledge-based system development from conventional system development is the emphasis on in-depth understanding and formalization of the relations between the conceptual structures underlying expert performance and the computational structures capable of emulating that performance. Personal construct psychology is a theory of individual and group psychological and social processes that has been used extensively in knowledge acquisition research to model the cognitive processes of human experts. The psychology takes a constructivist position appropriate to the modeling of human knowledge processes but develops this through the characterization of human conceptual structures in axiomatic terms that translate directly to computational form. In particular, there is a close correspondence between the intensional logics of knowledge, belief and action developed in personal construct psychology, and the intensional logics for formal knowledge representation developed in artificial intelligence research as term subsumption, or KL-ONE-like, systems. This paper gives an overview of personal construct psychology and its expression as an intensional logic describing the cognitive processes of anticipatory agents, and uses this to survey knowledge acquisition tools deriving from personal construct psychology.

A situated classification solution of a resource allocation task represented in a visual language, Brian R Gaines, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 40(2), 243-271, February, 1994. PDF.

The Sisyphus room allocation problem solving example has been solved using a situated classification approach. A solution was developed from the protocol provided in terms of three heuristic classification systems, one classifying people, another rooms, and another tasks on an agenda of recommended room allocations. The domain ontology, problem data, problem-solving method, and domain-specific classification rules, have each been represented in a visual language. These knowledge structures compile to statements in a term subsumption knowledge representation language, and are loaded and run in a knowledge representation server to solve the problem. The user interface has been designed to provide support for human intervention in under-determined and over-determined situations, allowing advantage to be taken of the additional choices available in the first case, and a compromise solution to be developed in the second.

Class library implementation of an open architecture knowledge support system, Brian R Gaines, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 41(1-2), 59-107, 1995. PDF.

Object-oriented class libraries offer the potential for individual researchers to manage the large bodies of code generated in the experimental development of complex interactive systems. This article analyzes the structure of such a class library that supports the rapid prototyping of a wide range of systems including collaborative networking, shared documents, hypermedia, machine learning, knowledge acquisition and knowledge representation, and various combinations of these technologies. The overall systems architecture is presented in terms of a heterogeneous collection of systems providing a wide range of application functionalities. Examples are given of group writing, multimedia and knowledge-based systems which are based on combining these functionalities. The detailed design issues of the knowledge representation server component of the system are analyzed in terms of requirements, current state-of-the-art, and the underlying theoretical principles that lead to an effective object-oriented implementation. It is shown that modeling the server through intensional algebraic semantics leads naturally to an open-architecture class library into which new data types may be plugged in as required without change to the basic deductive engine. It is concluded that the development of a principled class library targeted on complex interactive applications does empower the individual researcher in the rapid prototyping of experimental systems. However, it is noted that much of the power of the approach stems from the cumulative evolution of the class library through successive applications, and hence the results may not generalize to team projects where greater rigidity is required in the class library in order to facilitate project management and inter-member coordination.

A networked, open architecture knowledge management system, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw. Gaines, B.R. & Musen, M. (Eds) Proceedings of the Tenth Knowledge Acquisition for Knowledge-Based Systems Workshop. pp.45-1-45-22. Banff, November, 1996. PDF.

The development of knowledge-based systems involves the management of a diversity of knowledge sources, computing resources and system users, often geographically distributed. The knowledge acquisition, modeling and representation communities have developed a wide range of tools relevant to the development and management of large-scale knowledge-based systems, but the majority of these tools run on individual workstations and use specialist data formats making system integration and knowledge interchange very problematic. The World Wide Web is a distributed hypermedia system available internationally through the Internet. It provides general-purpose client-server technology which supports interaction through documents with embedded graphic user interfaces. This paper reports on the development of open architecture knowledge management tools operating through the web to support knowledge acquisition, representation and inference through semantic networks and repertory grids. It illustrates how web technology provides a new knowledge medium in which knowledge-based system methodologies and tools can be integrated with hypermedia technologies to provide a new generation of knowledge management facilities.

WebGrid: knowledge modeling and inference through the World Wide Web, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw. Gaines, B.R. & Musen, M. (Eds) Proceedings of the Tenth Knowledge Acquisition for Knowledge-Based Systems Workshop. pp.65-1-65-14. Banff, November, 1996. PDF.

WebGrid is a knowledge acquisition and inference server on the World Wide Web that uses an extended repertory grid system for knowledge acquisition, inductive inference for knowledge modeling, and an integrated knowledge-based system shell for inference. This demonstration shows WebGrid modeling a standard dataset for the NASA autolander problem which illustrates the system's capability for open-class reasoning with incompletely specified cases.

Knowledge acquisition, modeling and inference through the World Wide Web, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 46(6), 729-759, June1997. PDF.

The development of knowledge-based systems involves the management of a diversity of knowledge sources, computing resources and system users, often geographically distributed. The knowledge acquisition, modeling and representation communities have developed a wide range of tools relevant to the development and management of large-scale knowledge-based systems, but the majority of these tools run on individual workstations and use specialist data formats making system integration and knowledge interchange very problematic. However, widespread access to the Internet has led to a new era of distributed client-server computing. In particular, the introduction of support for forms on World Wide Web in late 1993 has provided an easily programmable, cross-platform graphic user interface that has become widely used in innovative interactive systems. This article reports on the development of open architecture knowledge management tools operating through the web to support knowledge acquisition, representation and inference through semantic networks and repertory grids.

WebGrid II: Developing hierarchical knowledge structures from flat grids, Mildred L G Shaw and Brian R Gaines. Gaines, B.R. & Musen, M. (Eds) Proceedings of the Eleventh Knowledge Acquisition for Knowledge-Based Systems Workshop. SIS-7: 1-15. Banff, April, 1998. PDF.

The repertory grid has proved a useful tool for knowledge elicitation, yet its 'flat' entity-attribute-value-value structure seems to preclude its use in developing the hierarchical knowledge structures common in semantic networks. However, it is known that general knowledge representation schemes, such as those of KL-ONE type systems, can be represented as an entity--attribute-value matrix in which the entities are concepts and the values are constraints. WebGrid-II extends the values available in a grid to include symbolic and numeric constraints, and this article demonstrates how various forms of grid analyses generate hierarchical knowledge structures from extended grids.

Developing for web integration in Sisyphus-IV: WebGrid-II experience, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw. Gaines, B.R. & Musen, M. (Eds) Proceedings of the Eleventh Knowledge Acquisition for Knowledge-Based Systems Workshop. SIS-3: 1-12. Banff, April, 1998. PDF.

The Sisyphus-IV initiative was proposed to encourage research based on the collaborative use of knowledge acquisition and management tools through the net and web and, in particular, the integration of web tools at different sites through the net. This article describes experience in the provision of web-based services for knowledge elicitation, analysis, comparison, modeling and inference to remote users accessing them through the net using a standard web browser. It describes the key features of the system architecture, provision for the support of remote users, how collaboration is supported, and the various means whereby integration is achieved with other systems.

Embedding formal knowledge models in active documents, Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw. Communications of the ACM 42(1), 57-63, January, 1999. PDF.

Symbolic models represented in operational form provide a powerful information technology for computer-based reasoning, for example, in incorporating an organization's business rules in the operation of its information systems. Visual languages enable these models to be represented in semantic networks that are comprehensible to people and can be incorporated in documents such as the organization's procedures manual. This article describes stand-alone and web technology for active documents incorporating knowledge bases represented by editable semantic networks supporting inference.

Knowledge science and technology: Operationalizing the enlightenment, Brian R Gaines. Proceedings of PKAW2000. P. Compton, A. Hoffman, H. Motoda and T. Yamaguchi. Sydney, University of New South Wales, 97-123, 2000. PDF.

The aspirations and achievements of research and applications in knowledge-based systems are reviewed and placed in the context of the evolution of information technology, and our understanding of human expertise and knowledge processes. Future developments are seen as a continuation of a long-term process of operationalizing the rational stance to human knowledge processes adopted in the enlightenment, involving further diffusion of artificial intelligence technologies into mainstream computer applications, and incorporation of deeper models of human psychological and social processes.

Understanding Ontologies in Scholarly Disciplines, Brian R. Gaines. Proceedings 2004 International Workshop on Description Logics, DL2004, Haarslev, V., and Möller, R., eds. CEUR-Workshop Proceedings, Whistler, B.C. Proceedings, HTML, PDF

Description logics are valuable for modeling the conceptual structures of scientific and engineering research because the underlying ontologies generally have a taxonomic core. Such structures have natural representations through semantic networks that mirror the underlying description logic graph-theoretic structures and are more comprehensible than logical notations to those developing and studying the models. This article reports experience in the development of visual language tools for description logics with the objective of making research issues, past and present, more understandable.

WebGrid Evolution through Four Generations 1994-2007, Brian R. Gaines and Mildred L. G. Shaw. PDF.

WebGrid is a port of a highly interactive conceptual modeling application to operate effectively as a web service available through any web client. It was developed in 1994, has been available as a service on the web on a 24/7 basis since January 1995, and has been used by over 20,000 different sites. A tutorial on porting interactive applications to the web using WebGrid as an example was presented at the Fourth International World Wide Web Conference in 1995. This article updates that material in the light of a decade of further experience, describing the significant lessons learned in designing and evolving WebGrid through four major generations as the underlying web technologies have evolved from the initial implementation of HTML forms through cascading style sheets and Javascript to dynamic HTML and Ajax, and as user requirements have themselves evolved.

Designing Visual Languages for Description Logics, Brian R. Gaines. Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 18(2), 217-250, 2009. PDF.

Semantic networks were developed in cognitive science and artificial intelligence studies as graphical knowledge representation and inference tools emulating human thought processes. Formal analysis of the representation and inference capabilities of the networks modeled them as subsets of standard first-order logic (FOL), restricted in the operations allowed in order to ensure the tractability that seemed to characterize human reasoning capabilities. The graphical network representations were modeled as providing a visual language for the logic. Sub-sets of FOL targeted on knowledge representation came to be called description logics, and research on these logics has focused on issues of tractability of subsets with differing representation capabilities, and on the implementation of practical inference systems achieving the best possible performance. Semantic network research has kept pace with these developments, providing visual languages for knowledge entry, editing, and presenting the results of inference, that translate unambiguously to the underlying description logics. This paper discusses the design issues for such semantic network formalisms, and illustrates them through detailed examples of significant generic knowledge structures analyzed in the literature, including determinables, contrast sets, genus/differentiae, taxonomies, faceted taxonomies, cluster concepts, family resemblances, graded concepts, frames, definitions, rules, rules with exceptions, essence and state assertions, opposites and contraries, relevance, and so on. Such examples provide important test material for any visual language formalism for logic.

Visualizing logical aspects of conceptual structures, Brian R. Gaines. PDF.

Conceptual structures are studied in many different disciplines and represented in a variety of forms including natural language, formal logic, and graphical or spatial representations. This article analyzes the common foundations of such representations across all disciplines, and the relationships between the different forms of representation. Representations of the logical relations in conceptual structures are compared, including logical symbolism, Euler diagrams, semantic networks, conceptual grids and conceptual spaces. It is shown that these representations are formally equivalent and can be inter-translated algorithmically, but provide different and complementary visualizations such that the use of multiple representations may provide greater insight than any alone. It is shown that a wide range of significant conceptual structures can be represented and visualized in a substructural logic having only two logical relations, entailment and contrast/opposition, that is naturally represented in Euler diagrams and in semantic networks with two types of connecting arrow. It is shown that human everyday reasoning not involving definitions and rules but based on abduction over schemata representing traces of past experience can be modeled and visualized in these representations. The extension of the visual representation to include the constructs of a description logic and bridge from the substructural logic to structural mathematical logics is illustrated. It is concluded that interactive, computer-based visualization tools supporting a range of different representation schemes and inference based on a heterogeneous mix of representations can provide significant support for education and research across the many disciplines concerned with conceptual structures.

Universal logic as a science of patterns, Brian R. Gaines. In Koslow, A. & Buchsbaum, A., The Road to Universal Logic: Festschrift for 50th Birthday of Jean-Yves Béziau, 145-189, 2015. PDF.

This article addresses Béziau's vision that universal logic should be capable of helping other fields of knowledge to build the right logic for the right situation, and that for some disciplines mathematical abstract conceptualization is more appropriate than symbolic formalization. Hertz's diagrams of logical inference patterns are formalized and extended to present the universal logic conceptual framework as a comprehensible science of patterns. This facilitates those in other disciplines to develop, visualize and apply logical representation and inference structures that emerge from their probléematique. A family of protologics is developed by resemantifying the symbol for deduction, -->, with inference patterns common to many logics, and specifying possible constraints on its use to represent the structural connectives and defeasible reasoning. Proof-theoretic, truth-theoretic, intensional and extensional protosemantics are derived that supervene on the inference patterns. Examples are given of applications to problem areas in a range of other disciplines.


10-Jun-2014