Pouring liquids: A study in commonsense physical reasoning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a theory that supports commonsense, qualitative reasoning about the flow of liquid around slowly moving solid objects; specifically, inferring that liquid can be poured from one container to another, given only qualitative information about the shapes and motions of the containers. It shows how the theory and the problem specification can be expressed in a first-order language; and demonstrates that this inference and other similar inferences can be justified as deductive conclusions from the theory and the problem specification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1540-1578
Number of pages39
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Issue number12-13
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Liquids
  • Naive physics
  • Qualitative physical reasoning
  • Qualitative spatial reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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