Sociology Index

Commonsense Reasoning

Commonsense reasoning is also referred to as mundane reasoning. Commonsense reasoning is a term used by ethnomethodologists, derived from Alfred Schutz (1899-1959), referring to the practical or everyday reasoning used by members of society to create and sustain a sense of social reality as being objective, factual, predictable and external to themselves.

Since the objectivity of the world as a practical accomplishment is the focus of ethnomethodology this kind of reasoning is a primary topic of investigation.

Commonsense Reasoning by Erik T Mueller
Central to the idea of Artificial Intelligence is getting computers to understand simple facts about people and everyday lifewhat we call Common Sense.

Amid the technical discussions about inference algorithms and knowledge representation, a larger question arises: What have we actually learned in the past 30 years about how to put Commonsense knowledge in computers? Look no further than Erik Mueller's Commonsense Reasoning for a deep and insightful survey of the state of the art in this topic. The strength of this book is that it uses a uniform representation formalism, the event calculus, to solve a variety of commonsense reasoning problems.

This book provides important ideas and methods which can be used to model commonsense reasoning about events in complex and dynamic environments. One approach to this problem is to formalize commonsense reasoning using mathematical logic. Commonsense Reasoning is a detailed, high-level reference on logic-based commonsense reasoning. It uses the event calculus, a highly powerful and usable tool for commonsense reasoning. He provides an up-to-date work promoting the use of the event calculus for commonsense reasoning.
Covers key areas of commonsense reasoning including action, change, defaults, space, and mental states. 
Contextualizes the event calculus within the framework of commonsense reasoning, introducing the event calculus as the best method overall. 
Focuses on how to use the event calculus formalism to perform commonsense reasoning, while existing papers and books examine the formalisms themselves. 
Describes software tools that can be downloaded and used for automated commonsense reasoning, and real-world applications that have been built using the event calculus. 

Learning in Order to Reason: The Approach. SOFSEM: Theory and Practice of Informatics (1996), D. Roth
Abstract: Any theory aimed at understanding commonsense reasoning, the process that humans use to cope with the mundane but complex aspects of the world in evaluating everyday situations, should account for its flexibility, its adaptability, and the speed with which it is performed. Current theories of reasoning, however, do not satisfy these requirements, a fact we attribute, at least partly, to their separation from learning. 

An architecture of diversity for commonsense reasoning, IBM Systems Journal, vol. 41(3):-
Mccarthy, J., Marvin, M., Sloman, A., Gong, L., Lau, T., Morgenstern, L., Mueller, E.T., Riecken, D., Singh, M. and Singh, P. 
Abstract: This paper discusses commonsense reasoning and what makes it difficult for computers. The paper contends that commonsense reasoning is too hard a problem to solve using any single artificial intelligence technique. A multilevel architecture is proposed that consists of diverse reasoning and representation techniques that collaborate and reflect in order to allow the best techniques to be used for the many situations that arise in commonsense reasoning. Story understanding--specifically, understanding and answering questions about progressively harder children's texts--is presented as a task for evaluating and scaling up a commonsense reasoning system.