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Representing the dividing instant

Representing the dividing instant

Ma, Jixin and Knight, Brian (2003) Representing the dividing instant. The Computer Journal, 46 (2). pp. 213-222. ISSN 0010-4620 (Print), 1460-2067 (Online) (doi:

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The so-called dividing instant (DI) problem is an ancient historical puzzle encountered when attempting to represent what happens at the boundary instant which divides two successive states. The specification of such a problem requires a thorough exploration of the primitives of the temporal ontology and the corresponding time structure, as well as the conditions that the resulting temporal models must satisfy. The problem is closely related to the question of how to characterize the relationship between time periods with positive duration and time instants with no duration. It involves the characterization of the ‘closed’ and ‘open’ nature of time intervals, i.e. whether time intervals include their ending points or not. In the domain of artificial intelligence, the DI problem may be treated as an issue of how to represent different assumptions (or hypotheses) about the DI in a consistent way. In this paper, we shall examine various temporal models including those based solely on points, those based solely on intervals and those based on both points and intervals, and point out the corresponding DI problem with regard to each of these temporal models. We shall propose a classification of assumptions about the DI and provide a solution to the corresponding problem.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] CMS Ref. No: 03/14. [2] The Computer Journal is published by Oxford University Press on behalf of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dividing Instant (DI), temporal model
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Q Science > QC Physics
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences > Computer & Computational Science Research Group
School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences > Department of Computer Science
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:01

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