Journal: Artificial Intelligence, Elsevier
In this paper a new approach towards temporal reasoning is presented that scales up from the temporal relations commonly used in Allen's qualitative interval calculus and in quantitative temporal constraint satisfaction problems to include interval relations with distances, temporal rules and other non-binary relations into the reasoning scheme. For this purpose, we generalize well-known methods for constraint propagation, determination of consistency and computation of the minimal network from simpler schemes that only allow for binary relations. Thereby, we and that levels of granularity play a major role for applying these techniques in our more expressive framework. Indeed, the technical preliminaries we provide are especially apt to investigate the switching between different granularities of representation, hence illucitating and exploiting the tradeoff between expressiveness and efficiency of temporal reasoning schemes on the one side and between expressiveness and understandability on the other side.