What is Reasoning using LLMs?


Reasoning is a cornerstone of artificial intelligence, enabling systems to process information, conclude, and make informed decisions. Unlike simple data processing or pattern recognition, reasoning involves a deeper understanding of relationships and the application of logical rules to infer new knowledge. This capability is crucial in AI systems that must solve complex problems, explain their actions, and adapt to new situations.

What is Reasoning?

Reasoning in AI refers to the process of drawing logical conclusions from available information. It involves using known data, rules, and logic to infer new knowledge, make predictions, or decide on the best course of action. This AI can be categorized into several types, including deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning, each serving different purposes in AI systems. Deductive reasoning involves deriving specific conclusions from general principles, such as using mathematical theorems to solve problems. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, involves generalizing from specific instances to broader generalizations, such as predicting future trends based on historical data. Abductive AI involves forming the most likely explanation for a set of observations, commonly used in diagnostic systems.

How does reasoning work?

Reasoning systems typically operate by applying logical rules to a knowledge base. These rules can be predefined by experts or learned from data using machine learning techniques. The reasoning process involves:

Data gathering

Collecting relevant information from various sources, such as databases, sensors, or user inputs.

Rule application

Using logical rules to process the information, which may involve if-then statements, probabilistic rules, or fuzzy logic.


Drawing conclusions based on the applied rules and gathered data, such as determining the best treatment plan for a patient based on their medical history.

Decision making

Selecting the best outcome or course of action based on the inferences made, such as recommending the optimal route for a delivery truck to minimize fuel consumption and delivery time.

Implementing: tools and technologies

Several tools and technologies facilitate the implementation of reasoning in AI. Some popular ones include:


A logic programming language well-suited for building reasoning systems, particularly in natural language processing and expert systems.

OWL (Web Ontology Language)

Used for representing complex knowledge about things, groups of things, and relations between things, often in semantic web applications.

RDF (Resource Description Framework)

A framework for representing information about resources on the web, enabling interoperability between different data sources.


A business rule management system (BRMS) with a forward and backward chaining inference-based rules engine, widely used in business process management and decision support systems. These tools provide the necessary infrastructure to build robust AI systems that can handle complex problem-solving tasks across various domains.

Common techniques and algorithms used

Rule-based systems

Utilize predefined rules to infer conclusions from given data. For example, in an e-commerce recommendation system, a rule might state that if a customer buys a laptop, they might also be interested in purchasing accessories like a mouse or a laptop bag.

Bayesian networks

Employ probabilistic models to represent a set of variables and their conditional dependencies. These networks are commonly used in medical diagnosis systems, where the probability of a disease can be inferred based on symptoms and patient history.

Fuzzy logic

Handles AI that is approximate rather than fixed and exact, mimicking human reasoning. Fuzzy logic is used in control systems, such as adjusting the temperature of an air conditioner based on imprecise inputs like “hot” or “cold.”

Case-based reasoning

Solves new problems based on the solutions of similar past problems. For example, in customer support systems, past cases of troubleshooting issues can be used to resolve new customer queries efficiently.

Neural-symbolic integration

Combines neural networks with symbolic reasoning, leveraging the strengths of both. This approach is used in complex tasks like natural language understanding and automated theorem proving.

Why is Reasoning better than its alternatives?

Reasoning offers several advantages over other AI techniques:


Reasoning systems provide clear, logical explanations for their conclusions, enhancing transparency. For instance, in a financial advisory system, reasoning-based recommendations can be traced back to specific rules and data points, making it easier for users to understand and trust the advice.


They can easily incorporate new rules and knowledge without requiring extensive retraining. This is particularly beneficial in dynamic environments, such as cybersecurity, where new threats can be addressed by updating the rule base without retraining the entire system.


Reasoning systems can make quick decisions based on logical rules, often requiring less computational power compared to some machine learning models. For example, in real-time systems like autonomous vehicles, AI can help make immediate decisions based on current sensor data and predefined safety rules.


Implementing reasoning systems can be more cost-effective than training complex machine learning models, particularly in domains where expertise and rule-based knowledge are readily available.

Use in your company (Benefits)

Implementing reasoning in AI can offer numerous benefits to a company, including:

Improved decision making

By providing logical, data-driven insights, reasoning systems can enhance the quality of business decisions. For example, a supply chain management system can optimize inventory levels and reduce costs by reasoning about demand patterns and supplier reliability.

Cost reduction

Automating complex problem-solving processes can reduce operational costs. In healthcare, reasoning systems can streamline diagnostic processes, reducing the need for extensive testing and consultations.

Increased productivity

AI reasoning systems can handle routine tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic activities. For instance, in customer service, reasoning systems can automate responses to common queries, allowing human agents to address more complex issues.

Enhanced customer experience

By quickly resolving customer issues and personalizing interactions based on inferred preferences and behaviors, AI systems can improve customer satisfaction. For example, a personalized marketing system can recommend products based on a customer’s past purchases and browsing behavior.

Challenges faced by Reasoning systems

Despite its benefits, reasoning in AI also faces several challenges:

Complexity of knowledge representation

Capturing and encoding domain-specific knowledge can be difficult. For example, in the medical field, representing the intricate relationships between symptoms, diseases, and treatments requires extensive expert input and careful structuring of knowledge bases.


Managing and processing large volumes of data and rules can become challenging. In large-scale applications like smart cities, AI systems must handle vast amounts of real-time data from various sources, requiring efficient algorithms and robust infrastructure.

Uncertainty handling

Reasoning systems must be equipped to deal with uncertain or incomplete information effectively. For instance, in weather forecasting, AI systems need to make predictions based on incomplete and probabilistic data, requiring sophisticated handling of uncertainty.

Integration with other systems

Ensuring seamless integration with existing systems and workflows can be complex. In enterprise environments, reasoning systems must work harmoniously with legacy systems, databases, and other AI components, necessitating careful planning and implementation.


Reasoning is a fundamental aspect of AI that enables systems to make logical decisions, solve problems, and infer new knowledge from existing data. By leveraging reasoning, businesses can improve decision-making, enhance productivity, and provide better customer experiences. However, successful implementation requires careful consideration of the associated challenges and the right choice of tools and techniques. Embracing reasoning in AI can lead to more transparent, adaptable, and efficient solutions, ultimately driving innovation and competitive advantage.

Estimate your AI project.

Antoni Kozelski
Founder, Top AI Voice on LinkedIn
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