Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Towards Programming with Knowledge Expressions


Reino Kurki-Suonio oot Computer Systems Laboratory, Tampere University of Technology, Finland.

August 1985

Explicit use of knowledge expressions in the design of distributed algorithms is explored. A non-trivial case study is carried through, illustrating the facilities that a design language could have for setting and deleting the knowledge that the processes possess about the global state and about the knowledge of other processes. No implicit capabilities for logical reasoning are assumed. A language basis is used that allows not only eventual but also true comon knowledge between processes. The observation is made that the distinction between these two kinds of common knowledge can be associated with the level of abstraction: true common knowledge of higher levels can be implemented as eventual common knowledge on lower levels. A knowledge-motivated abstraction tool is therefore suggested to be useful in supporting stepwise refinement of distributed algorithms.

21 pages

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