Representing Concepts by Weighted Formulas

In Stefano Borgo, Pascal Hitzler & Oliver Kutz (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference, {FOIS} 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, 19-21 September 2018. IOS Press. pp. 55--68 (2018)
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A concept is traditionally defined via the necessary and sufficient conditions that clearly determine its extension. By contrast, cognitive views of concepts intend to account for empirical data that show that categorisation under a concept presents typicality effects and a certain degree of indeterminacy. We propose a formal language to compactly represent concepts by leveraging on weighted logical formulas. In this way, we can model the possible synergies among the qualities that are relevant for categorising an object under a concept. We show that our proposal can account for a number of views of concepts such as the prototype theory and the exemplar theory. Moreover, we show how the proposed model can overcome some limitations of cognitive views.

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Daniele Porello
Università degli Studi di Genova


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