LINGUIST List 14.3119

Fri Nov 14 2003

Books: Computational Linguistics: Halpern

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  1. dgw, Reasoning About Uncertainty: Halpern

Message 1: Reasoning About Uncertainty: Halpern

Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 14:58:21 +0000
From: dgw <>
Subject: Reasoning About Uncertainty: Halpern

Title: Reasoning About Uncertainty
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: MIT Press		 
Book URL:
Author: Joseph Y. Halpern, Cornell University 

Hardback: ISBN: 0262083205, Pages: 456, Price: $50

Uncertainty is a fundamental and unavoidable feature of daily life; in
order to deal with uncertaintly intelligently, we need to be able to
represent it and reason about it. In this book Joseph Halpern examines
formal ways of representing uncertainty and considers various logics
for reasoning about it. While the ideas presented are formalized in
terms of definitions and theorems, the emphasis is on the philosophy
of representing and reasoning about uncertainty; the material is
accessible and relevant to researchers and students in many fields,
including computer science, artificial intelligence, economics
(particularly game theory), mathematics, philosophy, and statistics.

Halpern begins by surveying possible formal systems for representing
uncertainty, including probability measures, possibility measures, and
plausibility measures. He considers the updating of beliefs based on
changing information and the relation to Bayes' theorem; this leads to
a discussion of qualitative, quantitative, and plausibilistic Bayesian
networks. He considers not only the uncertainty of a single agent but
also uncertainty in a multi-agent framework.

Halpern then considers the formal logical systems for reasoning about
uncertainty. He discusses knowledge and belief; default reasoning, and
the semantics of default; reasoning about counterfactuals, and
combining probability and counterfactuals; belief revision;
first-order modal logic; and statistics and beliefs. He includes a
series of exercises at the end of each chapter.

Joseph Y. Halpern is Professor of Computer Science at Cornell
University. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the ACM and
coauthor of Reasoning About Knowledge (MIT Press, 1995).

"Halpern presents a masterful, complete and unified account of the
many ways in which the connections between logic, probability theory
and commonsensical linguistic terms can be formalized. Terms such as
'true,' 'certain,' 'plausible,' 'possible,' 'believed,' 'known,'
'default,' 'relevant,' 'independent,' and 'preferred are given
rigorous semantical and syntactical analyses, and their
interrelationships explicated and exemplified. An authoritative
panoramic reference for philosophers, cognitive scientists and
artificial intelligence researchers."
- Judea Pearl, Computer Science Department, University of California,
 Los Angeles

Lingfield(s): Computational Linguistics
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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