The AAAI Classic Paper award honors the author(s) of paper(s) deemed most influential, chosen from a specific conference year. Each year, the time period considered will advance by one year. The 2006 award will be given to the most influential paper(s) from the Sixth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, held in 1987 in Seattle, Washington.

Papers were judged on the basis of impact, for example:

Honorable Mention Co-recipients: Judea Pearl and Thomas Verma
"The Logic of Representing Dependencies by Directed Graphs," presented at the Sixth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-87), Seattle, Washington
Data-dependencies of the type "x can tell us more about y given that we already know z" can be represented in various formalisms: Probabilistic Dependencies, Embedded-Multi-Valued Dependencies, Undirected Graphs and Directed-Acyclic Graphs (DAGs). This paper provides an axiomatic basis, called a semi-graphoid which captures the structure common to all four types of dependencies and explores the expressive power of DAGs in representing various types of data dependencies. It is shown that DAGs can represent a richer set of dependencies than undirected graphs, that DAGs completely represent the closure of their specification bases, and that they offer an effective computational device for testing membership in that closure as well as inferring new dependencies from given inputs. These properties might explain the prevailing use of DAGs in causal reasoning and semantic nets.

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