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(artificial intelligence, information science)
The objects, concepts and relationships that are assumed to exist in some area of interest. A collection of knowledge, represented using some knowledge representation language is known as a knowledge base and a program for extending and/or querying a knowledge base is a knowledge-based system.

Knowledge differs from data or information in that new knowledge may be created from existing knowledge using logical inference. If information is data plus meaning then knowledge is information plus processing.

A common form of knowledge, e.g. in a Prolog program, is a collection of facts and rules about some subject.

For example, a knowledge base about a family might contain the facts that John is David's son and Tom is John's son and the rule that the son of someone's son is their grandson. From this knowledge it could infer the new fact that Tom is David's grandson.

See also Knowledge Level.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the result of cognition of reality verified in practice; the true reflection of reality in the consciousness of man.

Knowledge is the opposite of ignorance, the absence of verified information about something. Elementary knowledge resulting from biological regularities is characteristic of animals as well, for whom it serves as a necessary condition for the vital activity of the organism and for the realization of its behavioral activity. Knowledge may be everyday, prescientific, artistic, or scientific; scientific knowledge is subdivided into empirical and theoretical. As a rule, everyday knowledge is limited to the statement and description of facts. Scientific knowledge ascends to the level of explanation of facts and their comprehension in a system of concepts of a given science; it is included within a theory. The essence of scientific knowledge consists in understanding reality in its past, present, and future; in reliably generalizing from facts; in dis-covering necessary and regular laws behind random occurrences and general patterns behind singular events; and on such a basis, in foreseeing phenomena. Human thought is constantly advancing from ignorance to knowledge, from superficial to increasingly more profound and comprehensive knowledge.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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