The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #506

Title:Building Abstractions
Authors:Bundy,A; Giunchiglia,F; Walsh,T
Date: 1990
Presented:In Proceedings of AAAI-90 Workshop on the Automatic Generation of Abstractions and Approximations
Abstract:The use of abstraction has been largely informal. As a consequence, it has often been difficult to see how or why a particular abstraction works. This paper attempts to help correct this trend by presenting a formal theory of abstraction. We use this theory to characterise the different types of abstraction that can be built; the different classes of abstractions we identify capture the majority of abstractions of which we are aware. We end by proposing a method for automatically building one very common type of abstraction, that used in Abstrips; our proposal is motivated by consideration of the various formal properties that such a method should possess.

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