Overview of Cyc Inferencing

The Cyc inference engine handles modus ponens and modus tollens (contrapositive) inferencing, universal and existential quantification, and mathematical inferencing. It uses contexts called microtheories to optimize inferencing by restricting search domains.

The Cyc knowledge base contains over 1 million assertions. Many approaches commonly taken by other inference engines (such as frames, RETE match, Prolog, etc.) just don't scale well to KBs of this size. As a result, the Cyc team has been forced to develop other techniques.

Cyc also includes several special-purpose inferencing modules for handling a few specific classes of inference. One set of modules handles reasoning concerning collection membership, subsethood, and disjointness. Another handles equality reasoning. Others implement fast reasoning with #$genlPreds and #$genlAttributes. Still others implement symmetry, transitivity and reflexivity reasoning.