[crm-sig] Causality

martin martin at ics.forth.gr
Fri Jan 18 15:45:08 EET 2002


Dear All,

On the last meeting I took over to look at the handling of causal
relationships between two events. So far, only the link P20 "had specific purpose"
connects two event. It denotes preparatory work. This cannot be regarded
as one causing the other, rather both are planned by the same actor.

So, the notion "cause" between events becomes relatively obscure.

E.g. "The earthquake caused the destruction of":
Are those two events, or two parts of one? Is there a notion of
the earthquake as pure a pure bad spirit, causing a series of
events, or is the earthquake the total of it?

I'd argue, from a practical point of view, that only long-term
effects are worth modelling such sequences. In that case, I ask
myself if there is always a state involved:
"The earthquake destabilized the building. It broke down a year
later, killing five people".


Another notion would be "John caused the destruction of..":
In that sense, all active participants and all properties expressing 
effects of events on objects are "causal", like "carried out by",
"destroyed"...

Another notion would be: "The killing of his father caused John
to take bloody revenge". In that case, an event brings an Actor into
a state, which motivates another action of him.

As in the last earthquake in Athens, the legal decision was:
"The construction of the building X did not follow the prescriptions.
This caused the death of ten persons in the earthquake at...".

The most tangible concept I see here is the initialization of
a state, which may be worthwile modelling.

Opinions?

Martin


-- 

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 Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(81)391625          |
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