A Circumscriptive Calculus of Events

Murray Shanahan


A calculus of events is presented in which domain constraints, concurrent events, and events with non-deterministic effects can be represented. The paper offers a non-monotonic solution to the frame problem for this formalism that combines two of the techniques developed for the situation calculus, namely causal and state-based minimisation. A theorem is presented which guarantees that temporal projection will not interfere with minimisation in this solution, even in domains with ramifications, concurrency, and non-determinism. Finally, the paper shows how the formalism can be extended to cope with continuous change, whilst preserving the conditions for the theorem to apply.