abduction(redirected from abduct)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
a marriage practice in which the groom steals the bride. The abduction may be forcible, or it may be done with the prior agreement of the groom’s and bride’s families. According to the prevailing scientific opinion, the first type of abduction was always rare because it led to confrontations between primitive communes and similar groups. The second type, however, was widely practiced, especially among several Northern Caucasian peoples in prerevolutionary times, since it helped eliminate some of the wedding expenses. In a third type, the abduction was simulated, that is, the bride was playfully captured by the groom. This practice is still part of the traditional wedding rituals of many peoples.
"Abduction" is sometimes used to mean just the generation of hypotheses to explain observations or conclusionsm, but the former definition is more common both in philosophy and computing.
The semantics and the implementation of abduction cannot be reduced to those for deduction, as explanation cannot be reduced to implication.
Applications include fault diagnosis, plan formation and default reasoning.
Negation as failure in logic programming can both be given an abductive interpretation and also can be used to implement abduction. The abductive semantics of negation as failure leads naturally to an argumentation-theoretic interpretation of default reasoning in general.
["Abductive Inference", John R. Josephson <firstname.lastname@example.org>].