Abduction is inference to the best explanation and has applications to diagnosis, plan recognition, natural language understanding, vision, and many other tasks. It is frequently formalized as constructing a set of assumptions that logically imply and therefore "explain" a set of observations. Our work in abduction has focused on efficient logical abduction systems using truth maintenance techniques, applications of abduction to identifying faults in the process of theory refinement
, and the induction of knowledge bases suitable for abductive reasoning. Our current research focuses on using statistical relational learning
for abductive reasoning.
Below is an extreme example of abduction from Eugene Ionesco's play `Rhinoceros' from the `Theater of the Absurd' school:
All cats die.
Socrates is dead.
Therefore, Socrates is a cat.