Symbolic Knowledge Injection meets Intelligent Agents: QoS metrics and experiments

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Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 37(2), pages 27:1-27:30
June 2023

Bridging intelligent symbolic agents and sub-symbolic predictors is a long-standing research goal in AI. Among the recent integration efforts, symbolic knowledge injection (SKI) proposes algorithms aimed at steering sub-symbolic predictors’ learning towards compliance w.r.t. pre-existing symbolic knowledge bases. However, state-of-the-art contributions about SKI mostly tackle injection from a foundational perspective, often focussing solely on improving the predictive performance of the sub-symbolic predictors undergoing injection. Technical contributions, in turn, are tailored on individual methods/experiments and therefore poorly interoperable with agent technologies as well as among each others. Intelligent agents may exploit SKI to serve many purposes other than predictive performance alone—provided that, of course, adequate technological support exists: for instance, SKI may allow agents to tune computational, energetic, or data requirements of sub-symbolic predictors. Given that different algorithms may exist to serve all those many purposes, some criteria for algorithm selection as well as a suitable technology should be available to let agents dynamically select and exploit the most suitable algorithm for the problem at hand. Along this line, in this work we design a set of quality-of-service (QoS) metrics for SKI, and a general-purpose software API to enable their application to various SKI algorithms—namely, platform for symbolic knowledge injection (PSyKI). We provide an abstract formulation of four QoS metrics for SKI, and describe the design of PSyKI according to a software engineering perspective. Then we discuss how our QoS metrics are supported by PSyKI. Finally, we demonstrate the effectiveness of both our QoS metrics and PSyKI via a number of experiments, where SKI is both applied and assessed via our proposed API. Our empirical analysis demonstrates both the soundness of our proposed metrics and the versatility of PSyKI as the first software tool supporting the application, interchange, and numerical assessment of SKI techniques. To the best of our knowledge, our proposals represent the first attempt to introduce QoS metrics for SKI, and the software tools enabling their practical exploitation for both human and computational agents. In particular, our contributions could be exploited to automate and/or compare the manifold SKI algorithms from the state of the art. Hence moving a concrete step forward the engineering of efficient, robust, and trustworthy software applications that integrate symbolic agents and sub-symbolic predictors.

keywordssymbolic knowledge injection, quality of service, efficiency, robustness, PSyKI
journal or series
book Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (J.AAMAS)