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# Backward chaining

Backward chaining is one of the two main methods of reasoning when using inference rules. The other is forward chaining.

Backward chaining starts with a list of goals and works backwards to see if there is data which will allow it to conclude any of these goals. An inference engine using backward chaining would search the inference rules until it finds one which has a then-clause that matches a desired goal. If the if-clause of that inference rule is not known to be true, then it is added to the list of goals. For example, suppose a rulebase contains two rules:

(1) If Fritz is green then Fritz is a frog.
(2) If Fritz is a frog then Fritz hops.

Suppose a goal is to conclude that Fritz hops. The rulebase would be searched and rule (2) would be selected because its conclusion (the then clause) matches the goal. It is not known that Fritz is a frog, so this "if" statement is added to the goal list. The rulebase is again searched and this time rule (1) is selected because its then clause matches the new goal just added to the list. This time, the if-clause (Fritz is green) is known to be true and the goal that Fritz hops is concluded. Because the list of goals determines which Rules are selected and used, this method is called `goal driven .`

03-10-2013 05:06:04