On the knowledge requirements of tasks

Ronen I. Brafman, Joseph Y. Halpern, Yoav Shoham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In order to successfully perform a task, a situated system requires some information about its domain. If we can understand what information the system requires, we may be able to equip it with more suitable sensors or make better use of the information available to it. These considerations have motivated roboticists to examine the issue of sensor design, and in particular, the minimal information required to perform a task. We show here that reasoning in terms of what the robot knows and needs to know to perform a task is a useful approach for analyzing these issues. We extend the formal framework for reasoning about knowledge, already used in AI and distributed computing, by developing a set of basic concepts and tools for modeling and analyzing the knowledge requirements of tasks. We investigate properties of the resulting framework, and show how it can be applied to robotics tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-349
Number of pages33
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • (Skeletal) knowledge-based programs
  • Configuration space
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge capability
  • Knowledge complexity
  • Manipulation tasks
  • Sensor design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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