Inheritance Reasoning: Psychological Plausibility, Proof Theory and Semantics
Vogel, Carl M
Default inheritance reasoning is a propositional approach to non monotonic reasoning designed to model reasoning with natural language generics. Inheritance reasoners model sets of natural language generics as directed acyclicgraphs,and inference corresponds to the specification of paths through those networks. A proliferation of inheritance proof theories exist in the literature along with extensive debate about the most reasonable way to construct inferences, based on intuitions about interpretations of particular inheritance networks. There has not been an accepted semantics for inheritance which unifies the set of possible proof theories, which would help identify truly ill motivated proof theories. This thesis attempts to clarify the inheritance literature in the three ways indicated in the title: psychological plausibility, proof theory and semantics.