BISC: BISC Seminar-Nov 7; Causation


Subject: BISC: BISC Seminar-Nov 7; Causation
From: Masoud Nikravesh (mnikravesh@msn.com)
Date: Tue Oct 31 2000 - 12:01:20 MET


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Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
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Reminder:

Oct 31: 405 Soda Hall; 4:00-5:00pm; Lokendra Shastri; International
Computer Science Institute: Seeking coherent explanations-taking a cue from
the brain.

Nov 3: 373 Soda Hall; 11:00-12:00Noon; Behrooz Parhami
University of California, Santa Barbara: Gaining Speed and Cost Advantage
from Imprecise Computer Arithmetic

Nov 7: 405 Soda Hall; Causation

==========================================
Causation

BISC Seminar
Charles L. Ortiz
Artificial Intelligence Center
SRI International
Thursday, 07 November 2000
405 Soda Hall
4:00pm-5:00pm

Abstract:

In this talk I will present a stratified view of causal reasoning; one in
which the identification of counterfactual dependencies plays a
central role in ascribing instances of singular causation. I will then
present a semantics for counterfactuals in which events are
represented at the object level; this semantics is expressed in terms of a
syntactic form of belief updating and is combined with a
solution to the frame problem. A number of epistemic preferences that range
over types of knowledge, locality of action, and time can
be expressed; these preferences reflect similarities between possible
worlds. I will show how these tools can be used to ground a
commonsense language for causal discourse in which varying degrees of causal
connectedness may be expressed. I will discuss two
applications of these ideas: one in which such a language is used to
articulate important collaborative dependencies between agent
teams; and one involving a causal analysis of rational action: by adopting
an explanatory stance, one can characterize action through
descriptions that refer to causal connections between mental states and
actions.

Short Bio
===========

Charles L. Ortiz, Jr. Senior Computer Scientist Artificial Intelligence
Center SRI International

Charles Ortiz is a Senior Computer Scientist in the Artificial
Intelligence Center at SRI International. His research interests
include reasoning about action and causation, collaborative
multi-agent systems, and distributed robotics. He holds an S.B. in
physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University
of Pennsylvania for his work on causation. From 1996-1998 he worked on
collaborative multi-agent systems as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard
University.
He is currently the principal investigator for a DARPA research
project on incremental negotiation for autonomous agents and also for
an ONR project on distributed continual planning and execution for
autonomous air vehicles. He is the past director of the SRI Applied AI
Technology Program

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