The goal of cognitive modeling is to build faithful simulations of human cognition. One of the challenges is that multiple models can often explain the same phenomena. Another challenge is that models are often very hard to understand, explore, and reuse by others. We discuss some of the solutions that were discussed during the 2015 International Conference on Cognitive Modeling.
The parameters governing our behavior are in constant flux, and capturing these dynamics in cognitive models remains a challenge. We demonstrate how a mapping between ACT‐R's model of declarative memory and the linear ballistic accumulator enables efficient estimation of memory parameters from data. The resulting estimates provide a cognitively meaningful explanation for observed differences in behavior over time and between individuals.
The parameters governing our behavior are in constant flux. Accurately capturing these dynamics in cognitive models poses a challenge to modelers. Here, we demonstrate a mapping of ACT-R's declarative memory onto the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA), a mathematical model describing a competition between evidence accumulation processes. We show that this mapping provides a method for inferring individual ACT-R parameters without requiring the modeler to build and fit an entire ACT-R model. Existing parameter estimation methods for the LBA can be used, (...) instead of the computationally expensive parameter sweeps that are traditionally done. We conduct a parameter recovery study to confirm that the LBA can recover ACT-R parameters from simulated data. Then, as a proof of concept, we use the LBA to estimate ACT-R parameters from an empirical dataset. The resulting parameter estimates provide a cognitively meaningful explanation for observed differences in behavior over time and between individuals. In addition, we find that the mapping between ACT-R and LBA lends a more concrete interpretation to ACT-R's latency factor parameter, namely as a measure of response caution. This work contributes to a growing movement towards integrating formal modeling approaches in cognitive science. (shrink)