Department of Computer Science and Technology

Technical reports

Automating the librarian: a fundamental approach using belief revision

Alison Cawsey, Julia Galliers, Steven Reece, Karen Spärck Jones

January 1992, 39 pages

DOI: 10.48456/tr-243


This paper describes a current research project investigating belief revision in intelligent systems by modelling the librarian in interaction with a literature-seeking user. The work is designed to both test a theory of agent behaviour based on belief revision proposed by Galliers, and to evaluate a model of the librarian developed by Belkin, Brooks and Daniels, through computational implementation. Agent communication is seen as motivated by and motivating belief changes, where belief revision is determined by coherence, combining endorsement, connectivity and conservatism. The librarian is viewed as a distributed expert system with many individual specialised functions operating in particular belief domains. The paper describes our first implementation of the belief revision mechanism and of a very primative librarian, designed to test the basic viability of our ideas and to allow us to explore different forms of the distributed system architecture.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Cawsey, Alison and Galliers, Julia and Reece, Steven and
          	  Sp{\"a}rck Jones, Karen},
  title = 	 {{Automating the librarian: a fundamental approach using
         	   belief revision}},
  year = 	 1992,
  month = 	 jan,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  doi = 	 {10.48456/tr-243},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-243}