Distance Semantics for Relevance-Sensitive Belief Revision

Pavlos Peppas, Samir Chopra, and Norman Foo

Possible-world semantics are provided for Parikh’s relevance-sensitive model for belief revision. Having Grove’s system-of-spheres construction as a base, we consider additional constraints on measuring distance between possible worlds, and we prove that, in the presence of the AGM postulates, these constraints characterize precisely Parikh’s axiom (P). These additional constraints essentially generalize a criterion of similarity that predates axiom (P) and was originally introduced in the context of Reasoning about Action. A by-product of our study is the identification of two possible readings of Parikh’s axiom (P), which we call the strong and the weak versions of the axiom. An interesting feature of the strong version is that, unlike classical AGM belief revision, it makes associations between the revision policies of different theories.


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