@INPROCEEDINGS{Baker89asimple, author = {Andrew B. Baker}, title = {A Simple Solution to the Yale Shooting Problem}, booktitle = {}, year = {1989}, pages = {11--20}, publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann} }

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Abstract

Most of the solutions proposed to the Yale shooting problem have either introduced new nonmonotonic reasoning methods (generally involving temporal priorities) or completely reformulated the domain axioms to represent causality explicitly. This paper presents a new solution based on the idea that since the abnormality predicate takes a situational argument, it is important for the meanings of the situations to be held constant across the various models being compared. This is accomplished by a simple change in circumscription policy: when Ab is circumscribed, Result (rather than Holds) is allowed to vary. In addition, we need an axiom ensuring that every consistent situation is included in the domain of discourse. Ordinary circumscription will then produce the intuitively correct answer. Beyond its conceptual simplicity, the solution proposed here has additional advantages over the previous approaches. Unlike the approach that uses temporal priorities, it can support reasoning backwar...