University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation seminars > Reformation: a generic algorithm for repairing faulty representations.

Reformation: a generic algorithm for repairing faulty representations.

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Departmental Seminar

Speaker: Prof. Alan Bundy, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

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Host: Prof. Aaron Sloman


Autonomous agents require representations of their environment to interpret sensory data, make plans to achieve their goals and solve other problems. Good representations are key to effective problem solving. Historically, they have been manually constructed and tuned to suit a particular task and environment. As we aspire to build persistent, autonomous agents in changing environments interacting with changing populations of other agents and changing tasks, then these agents’ representations must also evolve automatically. Such evolution will not just be to change beliefs within a fixed language, but the language itself must also sometimes change, i.e., old concepts will be replaced with new. Faults in representations are often detected by failures of inference, e.g., inconsistency and incompleteness. The reformation algorithm generalises our previous work on domain-specific representational repair to provide a generic mechanism with a potentially wide application. I will describe reformation and illustrate it on a variety of examples.


Alan Bundy is an internationally recognized research leader in automated reasoning. He is Professor of Automated Reasoning, University of Edinburgh. His research combines artificial intelligence with theoretical computer science and applies this to practical problems in the development and maintenance of computing systems. He is the author of over 290 publications and has held over 60 research grants.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Association for Computing Machinery. He was awarded the IJCAI Research Excellence Award (2007), the CADE Herbrand Award (2007) and a CBE (2012). He was Edinburgh’s Head of Informatics (1998-2001) and a member of: the Hewlett-Packard Research Board (1989-91); both the 2001 and 2008 Computer Science RAE panels (1999-2001, 2005-2008). He was the founding Convener of UKCRC (2000-2005) and a Vice President of the BCS (2010-12).

This talk is part of the Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation seminars series.

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