A deductive classifier is a type of artificial intelligence inference engine. It takes as input a set of declarations in a frame language about a domain such as medical research or molecular biology. For example, the names of classes, sub-classes, properties, and restrictions on allowable values. The classifier determines if the various declarations are logically consistent and if not will highlight the specific inconsistent declarations and the inconsistencies among them. If the declarations are consistent the classifier can then assert additional information based on the input. For example, it can add information about existing classes, create additional classes, etc. This differs from traditional inference engines that trigger off of IF-THEN conditions in rules. Classifiers are also similar to theorem provers in that they take as input and produce output via First Order Logic. Classifiers originated with KL-ONE Frame languages. They are increasingly significant now that they form a part in the enabling technology of the Semantic Web. Modern classifiers leverage the Web Ontology Language. The models they analyze and generate are called ontologies.
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