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Reasoning About Knowledge Hardcover – August 14, 1995

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Editorial Reviews


"It is easy to foresee that this book will become a classic." Fabrizio Sebastiani The Computer Journal

--This text refers to the Printed Access Code edition.

About the Author

Ronald Fagin is Manager of the Foundations of Computer Science Group, Computer Science Department, IBM Almaden Research Center.

Joseph Y. Halpern is Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University.

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 477 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 2nd Printing edition (August 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262061627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262061629
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,624,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Halpern was born in Israel, and emigrated to Canada at the age of four. He received a B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1975 and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard in 1981. In between, he spent two years as the head of the Mathematics Department at Bawku Secondary School, in Ghana.
After a year as a visiting scientist at MIT, he joined the IBM Almaden
Research Center in 1982. In 1996, he moved to Cornell University, where he is a professor in Computer Science and (as of July, 2010) the department chair.

He has received a number of awards: the ACM SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award in 2011, the Dijkstra Prize (joint with Yoram Moses) in 2009, the
ACM/AAAI Newell Award in 2008, the Godel Prize (joint with Yoram Moses) in 1997, the Publishers' Prize for Best Paper at at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in 1985 and in 1989, a best paper award at the Conference on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning in 2006 and 2012, and two IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards. He is a Fellow of AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence), AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), and ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). He was editor-in-chief of Journal of the ACM, and has served as an editor for many other journals.

Besides all the academics, Halpern likes to write music, travel, read, and hang out with his kids. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Native of Neptune on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This will be an evolving review, starting Mon 12Dec11 as I work thru reading this book. This current edition is a 2003 paperback, with some revisions from the original 1995 hardcover edition. The Amazon 'Look Inside' utility can get interested parties at least to its full table of contents. This book will occasionally be called by its initials 'RAK' in this review.

The nature of this book by four authors is essentially a treatment of 'computational epistemology'. Computational in its technical content of unique kinds of logic and many programming issues, and epistemological in its strong philosophical thread about the theory of knowledge. Terminology commonly refers to 'agents', which can be people, companies, computers on a network, etc. That is clearly an appropriate flexible idea for a book of this nature. Two levels of collective knowledge used in the book are the more straightforward 'distributed knowledge' and the more difficult to attain 'common knowledge'. Those are initially laid out in the first two chapters and are fundamental to RAK. An odd story called 'The Muddy Children Puzzle' is emphasized more than once in the book and has some strange logical complexity. This is a fairly long and wordy book, with final Chapter 11 ending on page 461, for an average of 41.9 pages per chapter, including long sections of rather historical 'notes' as the last thing in each chapter.

On Wed 28Dec11, I demoted this book from 4 stars to 3 stars because of its excessive and gratuitous wordiness. It is as if the authors had to produce over a 500 page book by contract, so they heavily padded out RAK's content, when that much writing was not needed to cover the subjects.
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20 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Vijay on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have used only part of the book. Most of the book is explained using the 'muddy children' example, which also serves to illustrate the complexities in automating a trivial puzzle for humans. The book also contains accessible coverage of Kripke structures and Aumann diagrams. This is quite a accessible introduction to a fairly complex subject.
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