A Connectionist Unification Algorithm

TitleA Connectionist Unification Algorithm
Publication TypeTechnical Report
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsHölldobler, S.
Other Numbers576

Unification plays an important role in many areas of computer science, mathematical logic, and artificial intelligence. It is also at the heart of connectionist models concerned with knowledge representation and inference. However, most of these models are severely restricted by their propositional fixation as they are defined over a finite set of constants and predicates. This restriction is caused by the inability to unify terms built from function symbols, constants and variables. In this paper a connectionist unification algorithm is presented. It utilizes the fact that the most general unifier of two terms corresponds to a finest valid equivalence relation defined on a occurrence-label representation of the unification problem. The algorithm exploits the maximal parallelism inherent in the computation of such a finest valid equivalence relation while using only computational features of connectionism. It can easily be restricted to solve special forms of the unification problem such as the word problem, the matching problem, or the unification problem over infinite trees.

Bibliographic Notes

ICSI Technical Report TR-90-012

Abbreviated Authors

S. Hoelldobler

ICSI Publication Type

Technical Report