Conditional Logics of Belief Change

Nir Friedman, Joseph Y. Halpern

The study of belief change has been an active area in philosophy and AI. In recent years two special cases of belief change, belief revision and belief update, have been studied in detail. Belief revision and update are clearly not the only possible notions of belief change. In this paper we investigate properties of a range of possible belief change operations. We start with an abstract notion of a belief change system and provide a logical language that describes belief change in such systems. We then consider several reasonable properties one can impose on such systems and characterize them axiomatically. We show that both belief revision and update fit into our classification. As a consequence, we get both a semantic and an axiomatic (proof-theoretic) characterization of belief revision and update (as well as some belief change operations that generalize them), in one natural framework.

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