Strategy Representation: An Analysis of Planning Knowledge

Strategy Representation: An Analysis of Planning Knowledge

Strategy Representation: An Analysis of Planning Knowledge

Strategy Representation: An Analysis of Planning Knowledge

Synopsis

Strategy Representation: An Analysis of Planning Knowledge describes an innovative methodology for investigating the conceptual structures that underlie human reasoning. This work explores the nature of planning strategies--the abstract patterns of planning behavior that people recognize across a broad range of real world situations. With a sense of scale that is rarely seen in the cognitive sciences, this book catalogs 372 strategies across 10 different planning domains: business practices, education, object counting, Machiavellian politics, warfare, scientific discovery, personal relationships, musical performance, and the anthropomorphic strategies of animal behavior and cellular immunology.

Noting that strategies often serve as the basis for analogies that people draw across planning situations, this work attempts to explain these analogies by defining the fundamental concepts that are common across all instances of each strategy. By aggregating evidence from each of the strategy definitions provided, the representational requirements of strategic planning are identified. The important finding is that the concepts that underlie strategic reasoning are of incredibly broad scope. Nearly 1,000 fundamental concepts are identified, covering every existing area of knowledge representation research and many areas that have not yet been adequately formalized, particularly those related to common sense understanding of mental states and processes. An organization of these concepts into 48 fundamental areas of knowledge and representation is provided, offering an invaluable roadmap for progress within the field.

Excerpt

The field of Cognitive Modeling can probably best be defined by the interest and disposition of the scientists who work in this area. the interest is the mind—the 3-pound universe that emerges as the full richness of human life from a tangled mess of neurons. the disposition, which separates the cognitive modeler from experimental psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, is the belief that the best way to understand something is to try to build it. the goal of Cognitive Modeling is to understand the human mind to such a degree of precision that one could design a computer program that did the same thing. As a result, cognitive modelers tend to be computer scientists as well, and are generally well accepted into a larger computer science field of Artificial Intelligence, whose members share many of the same methods, if not the same values. However, if the computer had never been invented, we might imagine that the cognitive modelers of the world would continue on in some other constructive medium, perhaps designing intricate clockworks using springs and gears rather than algorithms and data structures. But as it stands, the match between Cognitive Modeling and the computer is a convenient one, where mental processes can be specified as algorithms and the knowledge upon which they operate can be encoded in data structures.

In an almost comic manner, cognitive modelers are fascinated with the mundane. It turns out that nearly any behavior in the realm of cognition has a complicated explanation. To model the reasoning of a person deciding . . .

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