On the Representation and Use of Semantic Categories: A Survey and Prospectus

Unknown author (1976-05)

This report describes research conducted 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 number N00014-75-C-0643.

Working Paper

This paper is intended as a brief introduction to several issues concerning semantic categories. These are the everyday, factual groupings of world knowledge according to some similarity in characteristics. Some psychological data concerning the structure, formation, and use of categories is surveyed. Then several psychological models (set-theoretic and network) are considered. Various artificial intelligence representations (concerning the symbol mapping and recognition problems) dealing with similar issues are also reviewed. It is argued that these data and representations approach semantic categories at too abstract a level and a set of guidelines which may be helpful in constructing a microworld are given.