Olivier Georgeon's research blog—also known as the story of little Ernest, the developmental agent.

Keywords: situated cognition, constructivist learning, intrinsic motivation, bottom-up self-programming, individuation, theory of enaction, developmental learning, artificial sense-making, biologically inspired cognitive architectures, agnostic agents (without ontological assumptions about the environment).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ernest 4.0

Ernest 4.0 can learn and exploit second-order schemas in a way that let him solve the "aA..bB..aA..aA" problem.

This trace is very similar to Ernest3.2's, except from that it shows the recalls of second-order schemas (orange lines). This happens when it exists a second-order schema having a context equal to the primary schema that has just been enacted.

For example, the first recalled second-order schema is S14 (a few lines after the first screen of this video). The reason why S14 is recalled is because it has a context schema S8 equal to the primary schema that was enacted just before. When recalled, S14 is being enacted, forcing its action schema S10 to be enacted, despite the fact that S10 expects X. We can think that Ernest is not so happy to get this X, but at least, it is what he expected. He expresses his "resignation" by "Arf" (in grey). Then, at the next round, Ernest can enact S12 as expected by S14, and he gets Y.

We can see that Ernest finally finds the regularity "aAbBaAbB" that gets him a Y every second round, which is the best he can get in this environment.

Ernest can now find regularities that are twice as long as his short-term memory. This is possible because he aggregates sub-regularities into primary schemas that can be referenced as single items in short-term memory. These items are affordance representations that Ernest can manipulate in short-term memory. In that sense, these representations constitute a first level of abstraction from Ernest's viewpoint.

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