Benjamin Kuipers, Qualitative Reasoning: Modeling and Simulation with Incomplete Knowledge

Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994. 414+xxvii pages, $45. ISBN 0-262-11190-X.



After fifteen years of work, the world of qualitative reasoning according to the QSIM viewpoint is now described in a single book.

Qualitative reasoning is one of the most vigorous areas in artificial intelligence. This book presents, within a conceptually unified theoretical framework, a body of methods that have been developed over the past fifteen years for building and simulating qualitative models of physical systems (bathtubs, tea kettles, automobiles, the physiology of the body, chemical processing plants, control systems, electrical circuits, and the like) where knowledge of that system is incomplete. The primary tool for this work is the author's QSIM algorithm which is discussed in detail.

Qualitative models are more able than traditional models to express states of incomplete knowledge about continuous mechanisms. Qualitative simulation guarantees to find all possible behaviors consistent with the knowledge in the model. This expressive power and coverage are important in problem-solving for diagnosis, design, monitoring, and explanation.

The framework is built around the QSIM algorithm for qualitative simulation, and the QSIM representation for qualitative differential equations, both of which are carefully grounded in continuous mathematics. Qualititative simulation draws on a wide range of mathematical methods to keep a complete set of predictions tractable, including the use of partial quantitative information. Compositional modeling and component-connection methods for building qualitative models are also discussed in detail.

Qualitative Reasoning is primarily intended for advanced students and researchers in AI or its applications. Scientists and engineers who have had a solid introduction to AI, however, will be able to use this book for self instruction in qualitative modeling and simulation methods.

Benjamin Kuipers is Bruton Centennial Professor in Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

MIT Press ordering information

Available from bookstores or directly from The MIT Press.

For orders in the US, please contact:
     The MIT Press
     55 Hayward Street
     Cambridge, MA  02142-1399
     Phone:  +1 (617) 625-8569
     Fax:    +1 (617) 625-6660
    for Customer Service

For orders and inquiries in the UK, Eire, and continental Europe,
please contact our London office:
     The MIT Press
     Fitzroy House
     11 Chenies Street
     London WC1E 7ET,  England
     Phone:  +44 (071) 306-0603
     Fax:    +44 (071) 306-0604

In Australia, please contact our distributor:
     Astam Books
     57-61 John Street
     Leichhardt,  NSW 2040
     Phone: (02) 566-4400
     Fax:   (02) 566-4411

In all other countries, please contact:
     International Department
     The MIT Press
     55 Hayward Street
     Cambridge, MA  02142
     Phone: +1 (617) 253-2887
     Fax:   +1 (617) 253-1709

Please note that prices may be higher outside the US.

[QR home]