Functional Categorization of Knowledge: Applications in Modeling Scientific Research and Discovery

  • Sakir Kocabas


The central thesis of my dissertation (Kocabas 1989)1 is that in complex systems, descriptive and definitive knowledge can be organized into functional categories; this categorization provides clarity and efficiency in representation and facilitates the integrated use of various methods of learning. I describe a formalism for organizing knowledge into such functional categories and some of its implementations. In this formalism, descriptive scientific knowledge is classified into seven categories. The categorization formalism allows complex propositions to be analyzed into their simple constituents; in turn, these constituents can be maintained in their categories. They can then be combined using a simple transformation function to form complex constructs such as frames and schemata. The methodology facilitates the implementation of knowledge-level methods of learning such as similarity-based learning, explanation-based learning, and conceptual clustering. It simplifies the identification and resolution of conflicts in knowledge systems.
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