Perceptually Grounded Self-Diagnosis and Self-Repair of Domain Knowledge

We view incremental experiential learning in intelligent software agents as progressive agent self-adaptation. When an agent produces an incorrect behavior, then it may reflect on, and thus diagnose and repair, the reasoning and knowledge that produced the incorrect behavior. In particular, we focus on the self-diagnosis and self-repair of an agent’s domain knowledge. The core issue that this article addresses is: what kind of metaknowledge may enable the agent to diagnose faults in its domain knowledge? To address this question, we propose a representation that explicitly encodes metaknowledge in the form of Empirical Verification Procedures (EVPs). In the proposed knowledge representation, an EVP may be associated with each concept within the agent’s domain knowledge. Each EVP explicitly semantically grounds the associated concept in the agent’s perception, and can thus be used as a test to determine the validity of knowledge of that concept during diagnosis. We present the empirical evaluation of a system, Augur, that makes use of EVP metaknowledge to adapt its own domain knowledge in the context of a particular subclass of classification problem called Compositional Classification.