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Diagrammatic Reasoning in AI

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Diagrammatic Reasoning in AI, 9780470331873 (0470331879), John Wiley & Sons, 2009

This book is really the end product of over a decade of work, on and off, on diagrammatic reasoning in artificial intelligence (AI). In developing this book, I drew inspiration from a variety of sources: two experimental studies, the development of two prototype systems, an extensive literature review and analysis in AI, human–computer interaction (HCI), and cognitive psychology. This work especially contributes to our understanding of how to design the graphical user interface to support the needs of the end user in decision-making and problemsolving tasks. These are important topics today because there is an urgent need to understand how end users can cope with increasingly complex information technologies and computer-based information systems. Diagrammatic representations can help in this regard. Moreover, I believe that reasoning with diagrams will become an important part of the newest generation of AI systems to be developed in the future.

Pioneering work shows how using Diagrams facilitates the design of better AI systems

The publication of Diagrammatic Reasoning in AI marks an important milestone for anyone seeking to design graphical user interfaces to support decision-making and problem-solving tasks. The author expertly demonstrates how diagrammatic representations can simplify our interaction with increasingly complex information technologies and computer-based information systems. In particular, the book emphasizes how diagrammatic user interfaces can help us better understand and visualize artificial intelligence (AI) systems. It examines how diagrammatic reasoning enhances various AI programming strategies used to emulate human thinking and problem-solving, including:

  • Expert systems
  • Model-based reasoning
  • Inexact reasoning such as certainty factors and Bayesian networks
  • Logic reasoning

A key part of the book is its extensive development of applications and graphical illustrations, drawing on such fields as the physical sciences, macroeconomics, finance, business logistics management, and medicine. Despite such tremendous diversity of usage, in terms of applications and diagramming notations, the book classifies and organizes diagrams around six major themes: system topology; sequence and flow; hierarchy and classification; association; cause and effect; and logic reasoning. Readers will benefit from the author's discussion of how diagrams can be more than just a static picture or representation and how diagrams can be a central part of an intelligent user interface, meant to be manipulated and modified, and in some cases, utilized to infer solutions to difficult problems.

This book is ideal for many different types of readers: practitioners and researchers in AI and human-computer interaction; business and computing professionals; graphic designers and designers of graphical user interfaces; and just about anyone interested in understanding the power of diagrams. By discovering the many different types of diagrams and their applications in AI, all readers will gain a deeper appreciation of diagrammatic reasoning.

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