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Arbitration (or How to Merge Knowledge Bases)
January/February 1998 (vol. 10 no. 1)
pp. 76-90

Abstract—Knowledge-based systems must be able to "intelligently" manage a large amount of information coming from different sources and at different moments in time. Intelligent systems must be able to cope with a changing world by adopting a "principled" strategy. Many formalisms have been put forward in the artificial intelligence (AI) and database (DB) literature to address this problem. Among them, belief revision is one of the most successful frameworks to deal with dynamically changing worlds. Formal properties of belief revision have been investigated by Alchourron, Gärdenfors, and Makinson, who put forward a set of postulates stating the properties that a belief revision operator should satisfy. Among these properties, a basic assumption of revision is that the new piece of information is totally reliable and, therefore, must be in the revised knowledge base. Different principles must be applied when there are two different sources of information and each one has a different view of the situation—the two views contradicting each other. If we do not have any reason to consider any of the sources completely unreliable, the best we can do is to "merge" the two views in a new and consistent one, trying to preserve as much information as possible. We call this merging process arbitration. In this paper, we investigate the properties that any arbitration operator should satisfy. In the style of Alchourron, Gärdenfors, and Makinson we propose a set of postulates, analyze their properties, and propose actual operators for arbitration.

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Index Terms:
Knowledge representation, belief revision, merging of knowledge bases, databases integration, arbitration operators.
Paolo Liberatore, Marco Schaerf, "Arbitration (or How to Merge Knowledge Bases)," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 76-90, Jan.-Feb. 1998, doi:10.1109/69.667090
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