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Building Abstractions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAutomatic Generation of Approximations and Abstactions
Issue numberna
Publication statusPublished - 1990


The use of abstraction has been largely informal. As a consequence, it has often been difficult to see how or why a particular abstraction works. This paper attempts to help correct this trend by presenting a formal theory of abstraction. We use this theory to characterise the different types of abstraction that can be built; the different classes of abstractions we identify capture the majority of abstractions of which we are aware. We end by proposing a method for automatically building one very common type of abstraction, that used in Abstrips; our proposal is motivated by consideration of the various formal properties that such a method should possess.

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