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The Rapid Knowledge Formation project (RKF) is building power-tools for knowledge acquisition.
The aim is to replace human knowledge engineers with tools which will allow multiple experts to enter knowledge into the Knowledge-Based System directly.

The domain of application of RKF is molecular biology. The challenge is to construct input tools which will allow knowledge from a student course book such as Essential Cell Biology by Bruce Alberts et al to be entered into the Knowledge-Based System (KBS) by trained biologists who are not, in addition, experts in knowledge representation.

AIAI is working with Cycorp to develop process and plan representations. These provide the basic vocabulary that will be extended by the domain experts-with the use of the RKF tool suite. We have investigated the use of the Process Specification Language (PSL) and have imported it into the Cyc Upper ontology. Further, we are interested in the representation of action constraints in the KBS, and, in specific, in finding exact equivalents for the action definitions of PDDL (the Planning Domain Description Language). By exporting the constraints from Cyc to a specialised solver, such as the Blackbox planner, and returning the results to Cyc, we can take advantage of existing solvers for complex reasoning tasks. This approach will allow us to investigate the ways in which Cyc's background knowledge can be used to constrain the planning problem.

Contact: Stuart Aitken 
Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute
Informatics, University of Edinburgh,
Appleton Tower
Crichton St
Edinburgh EH8 9LE
Email: stuart@aiai.ed.ac.uk
Tel: (44) 131 650 2738
Fax: (44) 131 650 6513