By Lorenza Saitta, Jean-Daniel Zucker

▓ Book's significant other Website
http://www.abstractionthebook.com

▓ Abstraction is a primary mechanism underlying either human and synthetic notion, illustration of data, reasoning and studying. This mechanism performs a very important function in lots of disciplines, particularly laptop Programming, normal and synthetic imaginative and prescient, complicated structures, synthetic Intelligence and computing device studying, artwork, and Cognitive Sciences. This publication first offers the reader with an summary of the notions of abstraction proposed in a number of disciplines via evaluating either commonalities and variations. After discussing the characterizing houses of abstraction, a proper version, the KRA version, is gifted to catch them. This version makes the suggestion of abstraction simply acceptable by way of the creation of a collection of abstraction operators and abstraction styles, reusable throughout assorted domain names and purposes. it's the effect of abstraction in synthetic Intelligence, advanced platforms and desktop studying which creates the center of the booklet. A normal framework, in response to the KRA version, is gifted, and its pragmatic energy is illustrated with 3 case experiences: Model-based prognosis, Cartographic Generalization, and studying Hierarchical Hidden Markov Models.
∙ Collects, describes and compares a number of ways to abstraction proposed within the literature of varied fields
∙ Discusses why abstraction performs a key function in AI artifacts, utilizing concrete examples, comparable to cartographic generalization and human/robot interaction
∙ presents a conceptualization framework to layout potent systems

▒ Book's Preface
When we began scripting this publication we have been conscious of the complexity of the task,
but we didn't think that it's going to take us nearly 3 years to accomplish it.
Furthermore, throughout the research and comparability of the literature from different
fields, it in actual fact emerged that very important effects were completed, yet that much
more very important ones are nonetheless out of achieve. Then, the spirit of the ebook replaced, by
itself, from the meant evaluate of the earlier to a stimulus for the longer term. We
would be at liberty if the reader, rather than being content material with the tips we propose,
would take them as a motivation and start line to head past them.
We current a wide number of works on abstraction in different disciplines;
nonetheless many suitable contributions to the sphere were inevitably left out,
owing to the sheer volume of pages they might fill. We say sorry for the missing
citations.
In this e-book we current a version of abstraction, the KRA version, yet this is often not
the middle of the e-book. It has a restricted scope and serves major reasons: on the
one hand it exhibits that numerous past proposals of abstraction theories have a
common root and will be dealt with inside of a unified framework, and, at the different, it
offers a computational setting for appearing abstraction by way of making use of a suite of
available, domain-independent operators (programs). in truth, there's nonetheless a gap
between normal abstraction theories, as a rule dependent logical formulations of representation
changes, and urban methods that seriously depend on particular domain
characteristics. The KRA version is intended to be anything in among: the
domain-independence of the abstraction operators achieves either generality (it can
cover a huge spectrum of purposes and alertness domains), and synergy (by
instantiating in several contexts a few code written only one time).
Independently of the version, we think that the elemental principles on which it relies
are extra very important than the version itself. those principles are definitely controversial; some
reader may imagine that our view of abstraction is strictly what he/she has always
looked for, while another may well imagine that abstraction is completely something
else. either reactions are welcome: what concerns is to set off curiosity within the subject
and stimulate extra research.
The booklet isn't really meant to be a textbook: it really is special to scientists operating on
or utilizing abstraction suggestions, with out problem of fields. computing device scientists,
Artificial Intelligence researchers, artists, cognitive scientists, mathematicians, and curious minds can learn the ebook. a few elements are extra formalized, they usually may
look advanced first and foremost sight. despite the fact that, we think that the best a part of the
content is graspable by means of intuition.

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Extra info for Abstraction in Artificial Intelligence and Complex Systems

Sample text

As Hilbert suggests, mathematical practice requires the development of the ability of focusing on what is important, without completely getting away from the context. However, reification is the most interesting aspect of abstraction, capturing the dynamics of the formation of new objects. An example has been reported previously, when discussing Antonelli’s work on natural numbers as abstractions of the process of counting. Finally, Ferrari stresses the role that language plays in mathematical thinking, because mathematical objects cannot be reached but through a suitably defined language.

It is safe to say that without abstraction no high level thinking would be possible. According to Brooks [81], “Cognitive Psychology has a huge interest in the whole range of issues to do with 32 2 Abstraction in Different Disciplines the abstract”. However, the name stands for a large variety of different cognitive phenomena, so that it is difficult to come up with a unifying view. In Cognitive Science the term “abstraction” occurs frequently; even though with different meanings and in different contexts, it is mostly associated with two other notions, namely, category formation and/or generalization.

A hypothesis about the nature of the processing was investigated very recently by Girard and Koening-Robert [211]. They argue that fast categorization could rely on the quantity of relevant information contained in the low spatial frequencies, because these last could allow a quick hypothesis about the content of the image to be built up. It would be very interesting to come up with a theory of abstraction capable of explaining (or, at least, describing) such a challenging phenomenon. Another curious cognitive phenomenon, in which abstraction plays a crucial role, is “change blindness” [327, 452, 491, 492], firstly mentioned by the psychologist W.

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