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).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ernest 4.1's abstraction

This figure illustrates how Ernest learns knowledge from his activity, and in parallel, how this knowledge helps him better control his activity. It shows the same trace as in Enest 4.1 video.

The raw activity is represented at the bottom. It is an alternance of A or B done by Ernest and of X or Y returned by the environment.

The ascendant blue arrows represent the construction of more abstract items.

The first abstraction level is called "Acts". An act corresponds to a cycle Ernest-Environment. A new type of act is constructed when a new combination Ernest-Environment is encountered.

The second abstraction level is "primary schemas". A primary schema is made up of two acts: the context and the action. The action act can be seen as a raw action associated with a raw expectation. The context act triggers the schema, and the schema tries to control the action act, but sometimes it fails. It is only at the end of the action act that the actually enacted primary schema is completely known. Hence, there is a tightly coupling between these two levels which is represented by dash gray double arrows: Trigger/Control.

The third abstraction level is "secondary schemas". Secondary schemas are made up of three primary schemas: context, action and expectation. The context primary schema triggers the secondary schema, and the secondary schema tries to control the action primary schema. In this environment, secondary schemas always succeed, so Ernest becomes "in control" of his activity when secondary schemas start to be enacted.

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