Beyond Minimizing Change

Tom Costello

We introduce a new methodology for comparing non-monotonic treatments of change. We consider the elaboration tolerance of a non-monotonic approach is defined as the elaborations, or changes, that can be made to the non-monotonic consequences, by conjoining on new information. The standard problem, the frame assumption, is capturing the tendence of properties to persist over time. We show that almost all approaches allow new effects to be added, and preconditions to be dropped. There are other ways of describing the world, and we investigate one in particular, assuming there are as few preconditions for an action as possible. This is equivalent to assuming that actions change properties as often as possible, if the ever change that property. We show that this assumption is in conflict with the usual frame assumption. We show that this methodology allows new effects to be added, and preconditions to be added. We show that this precondition assumption is naturally opposite to the frame assumption. We then show that this assumption can be naturally captured in a similar way to the frame problem, using circumscription.


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