Title: Commonsense Reasoning about Containers using Radically Incomplete Information
Date: May 12 (Friday)
Time: 1:10pm-2pm
Place: Winslow 1st floor conference room

In physical reasoning, humans are often able to carry out useful reasoning based 
on radically incomplete information. One physical domain that is ubiquitous both 
in everyday interacctions and in many kinds of scientific applications, where 
reasoning from incomplete information is very common, is the interaction of 
containers and their contents. We have developed a preliminary knowledge base for 
qualitative reasoning about containers, expressed in a first-order logic of time, 
geometry, objects, histories, and actions. We have demonstrated that the knowledge 
suffices to justify a number of commonsense physical inferences, based on very 
incomplete knowledge. We have verified the validity of the inferences using the 
SPASS theorem prover. (Joint work with Gary Marcus, Angelica Chen, and Noah