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Functional reasoning and functional modelling

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2 Author(s)
Sticklen, J. ; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA ; Bond, W.E.

A car that will not start on a cold winter day and one that will not start on a hot summer day usually indicate two very different situations. When pressed to explain the difference, we would give a winter account-'Oil is more viscous in cold conditions, and that causes . . .'-and a summer story-'Vapor lock is a possibility in hot weather and is usually caused by . . .' How do we build such explanations? One possibility is that understanding how the car works as a device gives us a basis for generating the explanations. But that raises another question: how do people understand devices? Model-based reasoning is a subfield of artificial intelligence focusing on device understanding issues. In any model-based-reasoning approach, the goal is to 'model' a device in the world as a computer program. Unfortunately, 'model' is a loaded term-different listeners understand the word to mean very different concepts. By extrapolation, 'model-based reasoning' can suggest several different approaches, depending on the embedded meaning of model.'.<>

Published in:

IEEE Expert  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )