Focused Inference and System P


  • Marco Wilhelm TU Dortmund University
  • Gabriele Kern-Isberner TU Dortmund University


Nonmonotonic Reasoning


We bring in the concept of focused inference into the field of qualitative nonmonotonic reasoning by applying focused inference to System P. The idea behind drawing focused inferences is to concentrate on knowledge which seems to be relevant for answering a query while completely disregarding the remaining knowledge even at the risk of missing some meaningful information. Focused inference is motivated by mimicking snap decisions of human reasoners and aims on rapidly drawing still reasonable inferences from large sets of knowledge. In this paper, we define a series of query-dependent, syntactically-driven focused inference relations, elaborate on their formal properties, and show that the series converges against System P. We take advantage of this result in form of an anytime algorithm for drawing inferences which is accompanied by a thorough complexity analysis.




How to Cite

Wilhelm, M., & Kern-Isberner, G. (2021). Focused Inference and System P. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 35(7), 6522-6529. Retrieved from



AAAI Technical Track on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning