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Object based approach: Frames | Advantages and Disadvantages | Cognitive Science

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object based approachObject based approach:Frames | advantages and disadvantages
Fourth Semester | Tribhuvan University (TU)
Subject: Cognitive Science | BSc.CSIT

Object based approach:Frames : cognitive science
With this approach, knowledge may be represented in a data structure called a frame. A frame is a data structure containing typical knowledge about a concept or object (Marvin Minsky (mid 1970s)). A frame represents knowledge about real world things (or entities).

Each frame has a name and slots. Slots are the properties of the entity that has the name, and they have values or pointer to other frames ( a table like data structure). A particular value may be:

  • a default value
  • an inherited value from a higher frame
  • a procedure, called a daemon, to find a value
  • a specific value, which might represent an exception.

When the slots of a frame are all filled, the frame is said to be instantiated, it now represents a specific entity of the type defined by the unfilled frame. Empty frames are sometimes called object prototypes.

The idea of frame hierarchies is very similar to the idea of class hierarchies found in object-orientated programming. Frames are an application of the objects-oriented approach to knowledge-based systems.


  • complex
  • reasoning (inferencing) is difficult
  • explanation is difficult, expressive limitation


  • knowledge domain can be naturally structured [a similar motivation as for the O-O approach].
  • easy to include the idea of default values, detect missing values, include specialised procedures and to add further slots to the frames
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