Paper 1

Scott E. Fahlman: "Marker-Passing Inference in the Scone Knowledge-Base System", First International Conference on Knowledge Science, Engineering and Management (KSEM'06), Guilin, China, August 2006. Proceedings published by and copyright by Springer-Verlag (Lecture Notes in AI).

see also the project webpage.

What is SCONE?

SCONE is a knowledge base and inference engine. The goal of the project is to provide a system that can be easily incorporated in larger systems that need a knowledge base and an inference engine. Therefore SCONE focuses on being:
  • efficient and scalable
  • easy to use and open source (two of the major features lacked by CYC)
  • based on an expressive representation language

Based on the marker-passing algorithm designed for a massively parallel machine NETL never built because too costly. The algorithm is not complete (i.e. the performed inferences don't guarantee to find an answer even if it exists) but is fast and performs frequently used operations, like:

  • multi-hierarchies with inheritance and exceptions
  • default reasoning with exceptions
  • type violation
  • set intersection
  • possible worlds (multiple views of the global KB)

Idea inspired by:

  • Qullian's semantic networks
  • the observation that humans:
    • do lots of inferences during the process of understanding natural language without feeling any mental effort (i guess that mental effort is related to consciousness, if you are not aware of the work the brain is doing then that work is effortless).
    • do pattern matching based on set of properties and expectations again without any apparent effort. And this patter matching is at the core of various human abilities like visual and speech recognition and even higher levels abilities like plan/intention recognition.


SCONE is very similar to the MULTINET system.

Observations (starting points for discussion)

Further readings

-- FabrizioMorbini - 16 Nov 2006

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Topic revision: r1 - 2006-11-16 - FabrizioMorbini
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