The utilization of the appropriate level of temporal abstraction is an important aspect of time modeling. We discuss some aspects of the relation of temporal abstraction to important knowledge engineering parameters such as model correctness, ease of model specification, knowledge availability, query completeness, inference tractability, and semantic clarity. We propose that versatile and efficient time-modeling formalisms should encompass ways to represent and reason at more than one level of abstraction, and we discuss such a hybrid formalism. Although many research efforts have concentrated on the automation of specific temporal abstractions, much research needs to be done in understanding and developing provably optimal abstractions. We provide an initial framework for studying this problem in a manner that is independent of the particular problem domain and knowledge representation, and suggest several research challenges that appear worth pursuing.
- Belief networks
- Medical decision-support systems
- Temporal abstraction
- Temporal reasoning
- Temporal representation