Knowledge maintenance and the frame problem

Christopher Brewster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Knowledge maintenance is a major challenge for both knowledge management and the Semantic Web. Operating over the Semantic Web, there will be a network of collaborating agents, each with their own ontologies or knowledge bases. Change in the knowledge state of one agent may need to be propagated across a number of agents and their associated ontologies. The challenge is to decide how to propagate a change of knowledge state. The effects of a change in knowledge state cannot be known in advance, and so an agent cannot know who should be informed unless it adopts a simple ‘tell everyone – everything’ strategy. This situation is highly reminiscent of the classic Frame Problem in AI. We argue that for agent-based technologies to succeed, far greater attention must be given to creating an appropriate model for knowledge update. In a closed system, simple strategies are possible (e.g. ‘sleeping dog’ or ‘cheap test’ or even complete checking). However, in an open system where cause and effect are unpredictable, a coherent cost-benefit based model of agent interaction is essential. Otherwise, the effectiveness of every act of knowledge update/maintenance is brought into question.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Proceedings of the 6th Annual CLUK Research Colloquium]
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event6th Annual CLUK Research Colloquium - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jan 20037 Jan 2003


Conference6th Annual CLUK Research Colloquium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • knowledge maintenance


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