- This research is partially funded by the ESPRIT Programme of
the Commission of the European Communities under projects number 5248
(KADS-II) and 5477 (CONSTRUCT). The partners in KADS-II are Cap
Gemini Innovation (F), Cap Gemini Programator (S), Netherlands Energy
Research Foundation ECN (NL), Eritel SA (ESP), IBM France (F), Lloyd's
Register (UK), Swedisch Institute of Computer Science (S), Siemens AG
(D), Touche Ross MC (UK), University of Amsterdam (NL) and Vrije
Universiteit Brussel (B). The partners in CONSTRUCT were Siscog (P),
Renault (F) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (B). This research is also
financed by a ``Inter-Universitaire Attractie Pool'' on knowledge
system and the IMPULS project ADIOS, both from the Belgian
- The knowledge level has
broader scope than knowledge systems alone. It can be used for
characterising the behaviour of any complex system, for example of an
autonomous agent, even if it is behaviour- rather than knowledge based.
In addition the knowledge level can be used to describe different
aspects of intelligent behaviour, like learning
. In this paper I
only consider the problem solving or performance aspects.
alternative to two step rationality is to model an agent as consisting
of a structure of smaller agents, each one being specialised and
perfectly rational in its specialisation . I prefer
to reserve the notion of agent for an embodied and observable being.
Its application as a structuring device makes it counterintuitive to
account for the dynamic configuration of knowledge in different
- One could consider the rationalisation of configuration.
rationalisation would need to refer to detailed knowledge of the
agent's constitution, evolution and adaptation over time, and details
of the embedding and the interaction with the environment. This may be possible but
would need to refer to details of the agent's physical embedding and adaptation to the
world. This does not seem very practical and uncompatible with a black-box treatment of
the agent. Much of this knowledge
should therefore be considered tacit, i.e., implicit in the structure and
interaction of the agent-environment system.
- The action of hitting a nail with a hammer
can be assumed to entail that the nail is deeper in the wood, that the
nail is deeper in the wood with some probability, or that a loud sound
has been produced. The 'effect' of the action simply depends on what
assumption the agent makes about it.