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A philosophical treatise of universal induction

Rathmanner, Samuel; Hutter, Marcus

Description

Understanding inductive reasoning is a problem that has engaged mankind for thousands of years. This problem is relevant to a wide range of fields and is integral to the philosophy of science. It has been tackled by many great minds ranging from philosophers to scientists to mathematicians, and more recently computer scientists. In this article we argue the case for Solomonoff Induction, a formal inductive framework which combines algorithmic information theory with the Bayesian...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorRathmanner, Samuel
dc.contributor.authorHutter, Marcus
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-20T04:51:45Z
dc.date.available2015-08-20T04:51:45Z
dc.identifier.issn1099-4300
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/14815
dc.description.abstractUnderstanding inductive reasoning is a problem that has engaged mankind for thousands of years. This problem is relevant to a wide range of fields and is integral to the philosophy of science. It has been tackled by many great minds ranging from philosophers to scientists to mathematicians, and more recently computer scientists. In this article we argue the case for Solomonoff Induction, a formal inductive framework which combines algorithmic information theory with the Bayesian framework. Although it achieves excellent theoretical results and is based on solid philosophical foundations, the requisite technical knowledge necessary for understanding this framework has caused it to remain largely unknown and unappreciated in the wider scientific community. The main contribution of this article is to convey Solomonoff induction and its related concepts in a generally accessible form with the aim of bridging this current technical gap. In the process we examine the major historical contributions that have led to the formulation of Solomonoff Induction as well as criticisms of Solomonoff and induction in general. In particular we examine how Solomonoff induction addresses many issues that have plagued other inductive systems, such as the black ravens paradox and the confirmation problem, and compare this approach with other recent approaches.
dc.publisherMDPI
dc.rightsThis is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.sourceEntropy
dc.subjectsequence prediction
dc.subjectinductive inference
dc.subjectBayes rule
dc.subjectSolomonoff prior
dc.subjectKolmogorov complexity
dc.subjectOccam’s razor
dc.subjectphilosophical issues
dc.subjectconfirmation theory
dc.subjectblack raven paradox
dc.titleA philosophical treatise of universal induction
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume13
dcterms.dateAccepted2011-05-27
dc.date.issued2011-06-03
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.mdpi.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationRathmanner, S., Research School of Computer Science, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationHutter, M., Research School of Computer Science, The Australian National University
local.bibliographicCitation.issue12
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1076
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage1136
local.identifier.doi10.3390/e13061076
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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