AAAI Publications, Thirteenth International Conference on the Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

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Ambiguous Language and Differences in Beliefs
Joseph Halpern, Willemien Ket

Last modified: 2012-05-17


Standard models of multi-agent modal logic do not capture the fact that information is often ambiguous, and may be interpreted in different ways by different agents. We propose a framework that can model this, and consider different semantics that capture different assumptions about the agents' beliefs regarding whether or not there is ambiguity. We consider the impact of ambiguity on a seminal result in economics: Aumann's result saying that agents with a common prior cannot agree to disagree. This result is known not to hold if agents do not have acommon prior; we show that it also does not hold in the presence of ambiguity. We then consider the tradeoff between assuming a common interpretation (i.e., no ambiguity) and a common prior (i.e., shared initial beliefs).


ambiguity; common prior; agreeing to disagree

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