LIRa session: Jon Williamson

For this talk a recording is available, click here.

Speaker: Jon Williamson (University of Kent)

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 26th 2023, 16:30-18:00

Note the unusual day! (Due to Thursday being a holiday.)

Venue:  ONLINE only (i.e. not hybrid)

Title: A decidable class of inferences in first-order objective Bayesian inductive logic

Abstract. This talk begins with a gentle introduction to objective Bayesian inductive logic and the main differences between this approach and Carnap’s approach to inductive logic. Then we move to the question of decidability. First-order deductive logic is well known to be undecidable and this undecidability carries over to inductive logic under the standard semantics, which holds that premisses inductively entail a conclusion just when every probability function that satisfies the premisses also satisfies the conclusion. It is perhaps surprising then that a large class of inferences in objective Bayesian inductive logic turns out to be decidable. We see that decidability is achieved by reducing the general inference problem to a problem involving only quantifier-free premisses, which can be solved using a truth-table method. This reduction permits the use of Bayesian networks to provide a potentially efficient approach to inference in objective Bayesian inductive logic.

Joint work with Juergen Landes & Soroush Rafiee Rad.