This paper illustrates cognitive modeling constructs designed to make learning by instruction more robust, including (1) flexible grounding of language to execution, (2) inference of implicit instruction knowledge, and (3) interactive clarification of instructions during both learning and execution.
Previous accounts of cognitive skill acquisition have demonstrated how procedural knowledge can be obtained and transformed over time into skilled task performance. This article focuses on a complementary aspect of skill acquisition, namely the integration and reuse of previously known component skills. The article posits that, in addition to mechanisms that proceduralize knowledge into more efficient forms, skill acquisition requires tight integration of newly acquired knowledge and previously learned knowledge. Skill acquisition also benefits from reuse of existing knowledge across disparate (...) task domains, relying on indexicals to reference and share necessary information across knowledge components. To demonstrate these ideas, the article proposes a computational model of skill acquisition from instructions focused on integration and reuse, and applies this model to account for behavior across seven task domains. (shrink)
This article describes the path‐mapping theory of how humans integrate analogical mapping and general problem solving. The theory posits that humans represent analogs with declarative roles, map analogs by lower‐level retrieval of analogous role paths, and coordinate mappings with higher‐level organizational knowledge. Implemented in the ACT‐R cognitive architecture, the path‐mapping theory enables models of analogical mapping behavior to incorporate and interface with other problem‐solving knowledge. Path‐mapping models thus can include task‐specific skills such as encoding analogs or generating responses, and can (...) make behavioral predictions at the level of real‐world metrics such as latency or correctness. We show that the path‐mapping theory can successfully account for the major phenomena addressed by previous theories of analogy. We also describe a path‐mapping model that can account for subjects' incremental eye‐movement and typing behavior in a story‐mapping task. We discuss extensions and implications of this work to other areas of analogy and problem‐solving research. (shrink)
Allen Newell (1973) once observed that psychology researchers were playing “twenty questions with nature,” carving up human cognition into hundreds of individual phenomena but shying away from the difficult task of integrating these phenomena with unifying theories. We argue that research on cognitive control has followed a similar path, and that the best approach toward unifying theories of cognitive control is that proposed by Newell, namely developing theories in computational cognitive architectures. Threaded cognition, a recent theory developed within the ACT-R (...) cognitive architecture, offers promise as a unifying theory of cognitive control that addresses multitasking phenomena for both laboratory and applied task domains. (shrink)