Specification of a Contraction Algorithm

Neil Tennant

in Changes of Mind

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199655755
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742125 | DOI:
Specification of a Contraction Algorithm

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  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic


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The chapter explain the concept of a greedy algorithm, and provide four successively less-greedy versions of a contraction algorithm. Here, the earlier work familiarizing the reader with dependency networks and their coloration conventions is key. The chapter discusses further possible sophistications of our approach, which would involve relaxing some of our simplifying assumptions: (i) making use of information about relative entrenchment of beliefs; (ii) being able to give up transitional steps among beliefs, in addition to beliefs themselves; and (iii) weakening the degree of support that the premises of a step afford its conclusion, so that it is probabilistic rather than apodeictic. The fourth version of our algorithm addresses (i).

Keywords: greedy algorithm; contraction; relative entrenchment

Chapter.  15870 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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