This book provides a general discussion of approaches to reasoning about knowledge and its applications to distributed systems, artificial intelligence, and game theory, as well as reasoning about the knowledge of agents who reason about the world.
Reasoning about knowledge—particularly the knowledge of agents who reason about the world and each other’s knowledge—was once the exclusive province of philosophers and puzzle solvers. More recently, this type of reasoning has been shown to play a key role in a surprising number of contexts, from understanding conversations to the analysis of distributed computer algorithms.
Reasoning About Knowledge is the first book to provide a general discussion of approaches to reasoning about knowledge and its applications to distributed systems, artificial intelligence and game theory. It brings eight years of work by the authors into a cohesive framework for understanding and analyzing reasoning about knowledge that is intuitive, mathematically well founded, useful in practice, and widely applicable. This book is almost completely self-contained and should be accessible to readers in a variety of disciplines, including computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, and game theory. Each chapter includes exercises and bibliographic notes.
About the Authors
Ronald Fagin is Manager of the Foundations of Computer Research Group, Computer Science and Methodologies Department, IBM Almaden Research Center. Joseph Y. Halpern is Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. He is the author of Reasoning about Uncertainty (MIT Press, 2003). Yoram Moses is Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Moshe Y. Vardi is Karen Ostrum George Professor in Computational Engineering and Chair of the Computer Science Department, Rice University.