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88
The TRAINS Project: A case study in building a conversational planning agent
 Journal of Experimental and Theoretical AI
, 1994
"... The Trains project is an effort to build a conversationally proficient planning assistant. A key part of the project is the construction of the Trains system, which provides the research platform for a wide range of issues in natural language understanding, mixedinitiative planning systems, and repr ..."
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Cited by 157 (33 self)
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The Trains project is an effort to build a conversationally proficient planning assistant. A key part of the project is the construction of the Trains system, which provides the research platform for a wide range of issues in natural language understanding, mixedinitiative planning systems, and representing and reasoning about time, actions and events. Four years have now passed since the beginning of the project. Each year we have produced a demonstration system that focused on a dialog that illustrates particular aspects of our research. The commitment to building complete integrated systems is a significant overhead on the research, but we feel it is essential to guarantee that the results constitute real progress in the field. This paper describes the goals of the project, and our experience with the effort so far. This paper is to appear in the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical AI, 1995. The TRAINS project has been funded in part by ONR/ARPA grant N0001492J1512, U.S. Air ...
Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Constraints in Temporal Reasoning
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1996
"... This paper presents a general model for temporal reasoning that is capable of handling both qualitative and quantitative information. This model allows the representation and processing of many types of constraints discussed in the literature to date, including metric constraints (restricting the ..."
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Cited by 139 (0 self)
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This paper presents a general model for temporal reasoning that is capable of handling both qualitative and quantitative information. This model allows the representation and processing of many types of constraints discussed in the literature to date, including metric constraints (restricting the distance between time points) and qualitative, disjunctive constraints (specifying the relative position of temporal objects). Reasoning tasks in this unified framework are formulated as constraint satisfaction problems and are solved by traditional constraint satisfaction techniques, such as backtracking and path consistency. New classes of tractable problems are characterized, involving qualitative networks augmented by quantitative domain constraints, some of which can be solved in polynomial time using arc and path consistency. This work was supported in part by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, AFOSR 900136, and the National Science Foundation, IRI 8815522...
Temporal Query Languages: a Survey
, 1995
"... We define formal notions of temporal domain and temporal database, and use them to survey a wide spectrum of temporal query languages. We distinguish between an abstract temporal database and its concrete representations, and accordingly between abstract and concrete temporal query languages. We als ..."
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Cited by 108 (11 self)
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We define formal notions of temporal domain and temporal database, and use them to survey a wide spectrum of temporal query languages. We distinguish between an abstract temporal database and its concrete representations, and accordingly between abstract and concrete temporal query languages. We also address the issue of incomplete temporal information. 1 Introduction A temporal database is a repository of temporal information. A temporal query language is any query language for temporal databases. In this paper we propose a formal notion of temporal database and use this notion in surveying a wide spectrum of temporal query languages. The need to store temporal information arises in many computer applications. Consider, for example, records of various kinds: financial [37], personnel, medical [98], or judicial. Also, monitoring data, e.g., in telecommunications network management [4] or process control, has often a temporal dimension. There has been a lot of research in temporal dat...
Backtracking Algorithms for Disjunctions of Temporal Constraints
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1998
"... We extend the framework of simple temporal problems studied originally by Dechter, Meiri and Pearl to consider constraints of the form x1 \Gamma y1 r1 : : : xn \Gamma yn rn , where x1 : : : xn ; y1 : : : yn are variables ranging over the real numbers, r1 : : : rn are real constants, and n 1. W ..."
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Cited by 106 (2 self)
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We extend the framework of simple temporal problems studied originally by Dechter, Meiri and Pearl to consider constraints of the form x1 \Gamma y1 r1 : : : xn \Gamma yn rn , where x1 : : : xn ; y1 : : : yn are variables ranging over the real numbers, r1 : : : rn are real constants, and n 1. We have implemented four progressively more efficient algorithms for the consistency checking problem for this class of temporal constraints. We have partially ordered those algorithms according to the number of visited search nodes and the number of performed consistency checks. Finally, we have carried out a series of experimental results on the location of the hard region. The results show that hard problems occur at a critical value of the ratio of disjunctions to variables. This value is between 6 and 7. Introduction Reasoning with temporal constraints has been a hot research topic for the last fifteen years. The importance of this problem has been demonstrated in many areas of artifici...
On Binary Constraint Problems
 Journal of the ACM
, 1994
"... The concepts of binary constraint satisfaction problems can be naturally generalized to the relation algebras of Tarski. The concept of pathconsistency plays a central role. Algorithms for pathconsistency can be implemented on matrices of relations and on matrices of elements from a relation algeb ..."
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Cited by 87 (2 self)
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The concepts of binary constraint satisfaction problems can be naturally generalized to the relation algebras of Tarski. The concept of pathconsistency plays a central role. Algorithms for pathconsistency can be implemented on matrices of relations and on matrices of elements from a relation algebra. We give an example of a 4by4 matrix of infinite relations on which no iterative local pathconsistency algorithm terminates. We give a class of examples over a fixed finite algebra on which all iterative local algorithms, whether parallel or sequential, must take quadratic time. Specific relation algebras arising from interval constraint problems are also studied: the Interval Algebra, the Point Algebra, and the Containment Algebra. 1 Introduction The logical study of binary relations is classical [8], [9], [51], [52], [56], [53], [54]. Following this tradition, Tarski formulated the theory of binary relations as an algebraic theory called relation algebra [59] 1 . Constraint satis...
Terminological Reasoning with Constraint Networks and an Application to Plan Recognition
, 1992
"... Terminological systems, such as KLONE and KRep, are widely used in AI to represent and reason with concept descriptions. They compute subsumption relations between concepts and automatically classify concepts into a taxonomy. Each concept in the taxonomy describes a set of possible instances ..."
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Cited by 62 (5 self)
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Terminological systems, such as KLONE and KRep, are widely used in AI to represent and reason with concept descriptions. They compute subsumption relations between concepts and automatically classify concepts into a taxonomy. Each concept in the taxonomy describes a set of possible instances which are a superset of those described by its descendants. One limitation of current systems is their inability to handle complex compositions of concepts, such as constraint networks where each node is described by an associated concept. For example, plans are often represented (in part) as collections of actions related by a rich variety of temporal constraints. The TREX system integrates terminological reasoning with constraint network reasoning to classify such plans, producing a "terminological" plan library. TREX also introduces a new view of plan recognition as a process which dynamically partitions the plan library by modalities, e.g., necessary, possible and impo...
Integrating Reactive and Scripted Behaviors in a LifeLike Presentation Agent
, 1998
"... Animated agents  based either on real video, cartoonstyle drawings or even modelbased 3D graphics  offer great promise for computerbased presentations as they make presentations more lively and appealing and allow for the emulation of conversation styles known from humanhuman communication. In ..."
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Cited by 57 (2 self)
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Animated agents  based either on real video, cartoonstyle drawings or even modelbased 3D graphics  offer great promise for computerbased presentations as they make presentations more lively and appealing and allow for the emulation of conversation styles known from humanhuman communication. In this paper, we describe a lifelike interface agent which presents multimedia material to the user following the directives of a script. The overall behavior of the presentation agent is partly determined by such a script, and partly by the agent's selfbehavior. In our approach, the agent's behavior is defined in a declarative specification language. Behavior specifications are used to automatically generate a control module for an agent display system. The first part of the paper describes the generation process which involves AI planning and a twostep compilation. Since the manual creation of presentation scripts is tedious and errorprone, we also address the automated generation of pr...
Coping with Temporal Constraints in Multimedia Presentation Planning
 In Proceedings of the Thirteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 1996
"... Computerbased presentation systems enable the realization of effective and dynamic presentation styles that incorporate multiple media. Obvious examples are animated user interface agents which verbally comment on multimedia objects displayed on the screen while performing crossmedia and crosswin ..."
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Cited by 56 (17 self)
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Computerbased presentation systems enable the realization of effective and dynamic presentation styles that incorporate multiple media. Obvious examples are animated user interface agents which verbally comment on multimedia objects displayed on the screen while performing crossmedia and crosswindow pointing gestures. The design of such presentations must account for the temporal coordination of media output and the agent's behavior. In this paper we describe a new presentation system which not only creates the multimedia objects to be presented, but also generates a script for presenting the material to the user. In our system, this script is forwarded to an animated presentation agent running the presentation. The paper details the kernel of the system which is a component for planning temporally coordinated multimedia. Introduction The success of humanhuman communication undisputably depends on the rhetorical and didactical skills of the speaker or presenter. Surprisingly enoug...
Reasoning with Concrete Domains
, 1999
"... Description logics are formalisms for the representation of and reasoning about conceptual knowledge on an abstract level. Concrete domains allow the integration of description logic reasoning with reasoning about concrete objects such as numbers, time intervals, or spatial regions. The importa ..."
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Cited by 54 (11 self)
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Description logics are formalisms for the representation of and reasoning about conceptual knowledge on an abstract level. Concrete domains allow the integration of description logic reasoning with reasoning about concrete objects such as numbers, time intervals, or spatial regions. The importance of this combined approach, especially for building realworld applications, is widely accepted. However, the complexity of reasoning with concrete domains has never been formally analyzed and efficient algorithms have not been developed. This paper closes the gap by providing a tight bound for the complexity of reasoning with concrete domains and presenting optimal algorithms. 1 Introduction Description logics are knowledge representation and reasoning formalisms dealing with conceptual knowledge on an abstract logical level. However, for a variety of applications, it is essential to integrate the abstract knowledge with knowledge of a more concrete nature. Examples of such "co...
Qualitative and Quantitative Simulation: Bridging the Gap
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1997
"... Shortcomings of qualitative simulation and of quantitative simulation motivate combining them to do simulations exhibiting strengths of both. The resulting class of techniques is called semiquantitative simulation. One approach to semiquantitative simulation is to use numeric intervals to represe ..."
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Cited by 43 (1 self)
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Shortcomings of qualitative simulation and of quantitative simulation motivate combining them to do simulations exhibiting strengths of both. The resulting class of techniques is called semiquantitative simulation. One approach to semiquantitative simulation is to use numeric intervals to represent incomplete quantitative information. In this research we demonstrate semiquantitative simulation using intervals in an implemented semiquantitative simulator called Q3. Q3 progressively refines a qualitative simulation, providing increasingly specific quantitative predictions which can converge to a numerical simulation in the limit while retaining important correctness guarantees from qualitative and interval simulation techniques. Q3's simulations are based on a technique we call step size refinement. While a pure qualitative simulation has a very coarse step size, representing the state of a system trajectory at relatively few qualitatively distinct states, Q3 interpolates newly expl...