New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1995. Provides a general discussion of approaches to reasoning about knowledge and its applications to distributed systems, artificial intelligence, and game theory.
Reasoning about knowledge-particularly the knowledge of agents who reason about the world and each other's knowledge-was once the exclusive province of philosophers and puzzle solvers. More recently, this type of reasoning has been shown to play a key role in a surprising number of contexts, from understanding conversations to the analysis of distributed computer algorithms. Reasoning About Knowledge is the first book to provide a general discussion of approaches to reasoning about knowledge and its applications to distributed systems, artificial intelligence, and game theory. It brings eight years of work by the authors into a cohesive framework for understanding and analyzing reasoning about knowledge that is intuitive, mathematically well founded, useful in practice, and widely applicable. The book is almost completely self-contained and should be accessible to readers in a variety of disciplines, including computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, and game theory. Each chapter includes exercises and bibliographic notes.
A model for knowledge and its properties; completeness and complexity - results and techniques; knowledge in distributed systems; actions and protocols; common knowledge, co-ordination and agreement; evolving knowledge; dealing with logical omniscience; knowledge and computation; common knowledge revisited.