How could an expert system tell following scenarios apart? How could we include some meaning of a sentence, if at all?

A machine needs 1 day to produce x units, and, 

we know that two machines like the first would need 1/2 day for x units. 

However, if:

a truck transports a container from a to b in 1 day,  

but two trucks won't transport the same container in half the time.

But how to establish a logical rule to exclude attaching a truth value to the second sentence? Hoe to process sentences that depict a process that can not be divided in pieces (that means, include the meaning of 'divisible'/'non-divisible'), and therefore, an expert system can't assign automatically a time value to a process that has to be performed. The enhanced expert system would then be able to avoid scheduling failures.

  • I'm not even sure how a human could do that, without understanding the nature of the tasks involved. And for some programming tasks, 2 people really does cut the time (approximately) in half – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jun 26 '14 at 18:51
  • Processing the language is hard. Having a formula for each of your two cases isn't hard. Say, TimeToComplete=BaseTimeToComplete/(SquareRoot(NumberOfProgrammers)). Or whatever you've determined it is. – psr Jun 26 '14 at 18:58
  • @psr that would work if all tasks were the same, and if we knew that 2x resources need half the time. It fails when you expect two trucks to transport a container from a to b in half the time. But yes, including anything related to meanings in human lang. is hard. – Quora Feans Jun 26 '14 at 19:02
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    Right. But if you're writing an expert system, presumably you know that. You pretty much need to, to write the system. So, what are you asking? How to write an A.I. that can determine the formula for how adding resources to real world projects will affect the completion date? – psr Jun 26 '14 at 19:06
  • @psr: no, the question is not that broad. I just need 'how to tell whether this action can be shared in two' kind of stuff. or, if you please, how to know whether 'verb x has a property p'. Imagine a library that can tell apart actions like 'transport', 'carry', 'write' from actions like 'wait', 'imagine, and the like. – Quora Feans Jun 26 '14 at 19:11

It seems to me that you're comparing apples & oranges.

A machine needs 1 day to produce x units, so, this implies that two machines like the first would need 1/2 day.

No, it implies 2 machines can produce 2x units in 1 day. We don't have enough information to know if x is divisible, if the machines can cooperate, if there are external constraints (incoming resources), etc.

Think about babies - one woman can produce a baby in 9 months but that does not imply 9 women working in tandem can produce one in a single month.

On the other hand, while one woman can theoretically produce 10 babies in 10 years, 10 women can produce 10 babies in one year.

My point is that you need more information to make the inferences you're looking for. The one sentence examples only work if the reader can supply additional supporting information from experience, education, etc.

  • yep, this is about comparing apples & oranges, and how to tell them apart. Additional textual information would be present, but it would be also in human lang. – Quora Feans Jun 26 '14 at 19:13
  • Also supply chains, just because the machine can do work doesn't mean it is able to be supplied with what it needs to do so. – Andrew Hoffman Jun 26 '14 at 19:24

It is very simple in order to get the meaning so that you can do what you want in the two cases above. You need to parse the sentences so that you can get the following semantics (together with built-in knowledge)

  1. A machine has a production speed
  2. A truck has a transportation speed
  3. The inferred knowledge about the prime/atomic form of the production speed
  4. The inferred knowledge about the prime/atomic form of the transportation speed
  5. Multiplication rules on the speed

In your example, if the x is a concrete number say 24, you can infer (or already given the inference rules) that the atomic/prime forms of the speed for the machine is 24 units a day OR 1 unit every 1 hr. Using this you can infer, that two machines can produce 24 unit in half a day because one produces 12 and the other 12.

In the second case, the prime/atomic forms of the speed is: a to b in one day, and probably a to c which is half way from a to b in half a day. So now when you use multiplication rule on this case, you have in half a day you get from a to c only, not to b and you have an increase in the number of containers if you have 2 trucks instead.

In other words, the atomic forms of the speed are different in 2 cases and the multiplication rules are also different.

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