We present a model of similarity‐based retrieval that attempts to capture three seemingly contradictory psychological phenomena: (a) structural commonalities are weighed more heavily than surface commonalities in similarity judgments for items in working memory; (b) in retrieval, superficial similarity is more important than structural similarity; and yet (c) purely structural (analogical) remindings e sometimes experienced. Our model, MAC/FAC, explains these phenomena in terms of a two‐stage process. The first stage uses a computationally cheap, non‐structural matcher to filter candidate long‐term memory (...) items. It uses content vectors, a redundant encoding of structured representations whose dot product estimates how well the corresponding structural representations will match. The second stage uses SME (structure‐mapping engine) to compute structural matches on the handful of items found by the first stage. We show the utility of the MAC/FAC model through a series of computational experiments: (a) We demonstrate that MAC/FAC can model patterns of access found in psychological data; (b) we argue via sensitivity analyses that these simulation results rely on the theory; and (c) we compare the performance of MAC/FAC with ARCS, an alternate model of similarity‐based retrieval, and demonstrate that MAC/FAC explains the data better than ARCS. Finally, we discuss limitations and possible extensions of the model, relationships with other recent retrieval models, and place MAC/FAC in the context of other recent work on the nature of similarity. (shrink)
Analogy and similarity are central phenomena in human cognition, involved in processes ranging from visual perception to conceptual change. To capture this centrality requires that a model of comparison must be able to integrate with other processes and handle the size and complexity of the representations required by the tasks being modeled. This paper describes extensions to Structure-Mapping Engine since its inception in 1986 that have increased its scope of operation. We first review the basic SME algorithm, describe psychological evidence (...) for SME as a process model, and summarize its role in simulating similarity-based retrieval and generalization. Then we describe five techniques now incorporated into the SME that have enabled it to tackle large-scale modeling tasks: Greedy merging rapidly constructs one or more best interpretations of a match in polynomial time: O); Incremental operation enables mappings to be extended as new information is retrieved or derived about the base or target, to model situations where information in a task is updated over time; Ubiquitous predicates model the varying degrees to which items may suggest alignment; Structural evaluation of analogical inferences models aspects of plausibility judgments; Match filters enable large-scale task models to communicate constraints to SME to influence the mapping process. We illustrate via examples from published studies how these enable it to capture a broader range of psychological phenomena than before. (shrink)
We present five experiments and simulation studies to establish late analogical abstraction as a new psychological phenomenon: Schema abstraction from analogical examples can revive otherwise inert knowledge. We find that comparing two analogous examples of negotiations at recall time promotes retrieving analogical matches stored in memory—a notoriously elusive effect. Another innovation in this research is that we show parallel effects for real‐life autobiographical memory (Experiments 1–3) and for a controlled memory set (Experiments 4 and 5). Simulation studies show that a (...) unified model based on schema abstraction can capture backward (retrieval) effects as well as forward (transfer) effects. (shrink)
Cognitive science has converged in many ways with cognitive psychology, but while also maintaining a distinctive interdisciplinary nature. Here we further characterize this existing state of the field before proposing how it might be reconceptualized toward a broader and more distinct, and thus more stable, position in the realm of sciences.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a core area of Cognitive Science, yet today few AI researchers attend the Cognitive Science Society meetings. This essay examines why, how AI has changed over the last 30 years, and some emerging areas of potential interest where AI and the Society can go together in the next 30 years, if they choose.
Computational modeling of sketch understanding is interesting both scientifically and for creating systems that interact with people more naturally. Scientifically, understanding sketches requires modeling aspects of visual processing, spatial representations, and conceptual knowledge in an integrated way. Software that can understand sketches is starting to be used in classrooms, and it could have a potentially revolutionary impact as the models and technologies become more advanced. This paper looks at one such effort, Sketch Worksheets, which have been used in multiple classroom (...) experiments already, with students ranging from elementary school to college. Sketch Worksheets are a software equivalent of pencil and paper worksheets commonly found in classrooms, but they provide on-the-spot feedback based on what students draw. They are built on the CogSketch platform, which provides qualitative visual and spatial representations and analogical processing based on computational models of human cognition. This paper explores three issues. First, we examine how research from cognitive science and artificial intelligence, combined with the constraints of creating new kinds of educational software, led to the representations and processing in CogSketch. Second, we examine how these capabilities have been used in Sketch Worksheets, drawing upon experiments with fifth-grade students in biology and college students in engineering design and in geoscience. Finally, we examine some open issues in sketch understanding that need to be addressed to better model high-level aspects of vision, and for sketch understanding systems to reach their full potential for supporting education. (shrink)
One of the central issues in cognitive science is the nature of human representations. We argue that symbolic representations are essential for capturing human cognitive capabilities. We start by examining some common misconceptions found in discussions of representations and models. Next we examine evidence that symbolic representations are essential for capturing human cognitive capabilities, drawing on the analogy literature. Then we examine fundamental limitations of feature vectors and other distributed representations that, despite their recent successes on various practical problems, suggest (...) that they are insufficient to capture many aspects of human cognition. After that, we describe the implications for cognitive architecture of our view that analogy is central, and we speculate on roles for hybrid approaches. We close with an analogy that might help bridge the gap. (shrink)