Proposal For a Study of Commonsense Physical Reasoning
This report describes research done at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Support for the laboratory's artificial intelligence research is provided in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense under Office of Naval Research contract N00014-80-C-0505.
Our common sense views of physics are the first coin in our intellectual capital; understanding precisely what they contain could be very important both for understanding ourselves and for making machines more like us. This proposal describes a domain that has been designed for studying reasoning about constrained motion and describes my theories about performing such reasoning. The issues examined include qualitative reasoning about shape and physical processes, as well as ways of using knowledge about motion other than "envisioning". Being a proposal, the treatment of these issues is necessarily cursory and incomplete.