Vacuum-Logic

Jennifer J. Elgot-Drapkin, Sarit Kraus, Michael Miller, Madhura Nirkhe, and Donald Perlis

What reasoning mechanism will a roomvacuuming robot need? One might argue that no logic at all is needed, and this would be hard to refute. The matter is too open-ended for hard and fast proofs. But until someone designs a highly successful vacuuming robot that eschews all logic, it is not unreasonable to consider what sort of logic such a robot might use. Indeed, even if an alogical robot could be perfected, this is no argument that another design might not make good use of logic. So, this is the issue we are taking up: given that a logic is to provide at least a portion of the "reasoning" in a vacuuming robot, what sort of logic should it be? We argue that a species of logic ("active" or "step" logics) that we have been using for other purposes (commonsense reasoning, planning, language change) may be highly applicable in the vacuuming domain as well (even if only because these other purposes also surface in vacuuming).


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