Reference: Ginsberg, M. L. & Smith, D. E. Reasoning About Action I: A Possible Worlds Approach. May, 1987.
Abstract: Reasoning about change is an important aspect of commonsense reasoning and planning. In this paper we describe an approach to reasoning about change for rich domains where it is not possible to anticipate all possible problems or situations that might occur. The approach provides a solution to the frame problem, and to the related problem that it is not always reasonable to explicitly specify all of the consequences of actions. The approach involves keeping a single model of the world that is updated when actions are performed. The update procedure involves contructing the nearest possible world to the current one in which the cosequences of the actions under consideration hold. The way we find the nearest possible world is to construct all proofs of the negation of the explicit consequences of the expected action, and to remove a premise in each proof from the current world. Computationally, this construction procedure appears to be tractable for worlds like our own where few things tend to change with each action, or where change is regular.
Notes: 25 pages.