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).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ernest 6.0 schema construction mechanisme

This figure details how schemas are constructed in the two first cycles.

At the level 0, elementary schemas are represented as circles. They are named A (schema A1 = doing A) and B (schema B1 = doing B). They are green if they succeed and red if they fail.

First level and second level schemas are represented as arrows. Their context is on the left side (dot), and their intention is on the right side (arrow). For instance S13=(AS,BF) and S21=(S13S,AF) (S=succeed, F=fail).

At the beginning, the context is initialized to AS. In this context, at this time, Ernest has no preference, so he randomly picks B. The environment returns Fail, so Ernest reinforces S13.

At the beginning of the second cycle, the context now has two levels: BF and S13S. At this time, and in this context, Ernest has no preference so he randomly picks A. The environment returns fail, so Ernest reinforces S16. In addition, because he also had S13S as context, Ernest considers that a schema (S13S,AF) has also been enacted. This schema does not yet exist so he creates it and names it S21.

Moreover, because S16S has been enacted from an element that is still in the context (AS = context of schema S13) then Ernest considers that a schema (AS, S16S) has also been enacted. This schema does not yet exist so he creates it and names it S22.

At the end of cycle 2, Enest has thus reinforced two first-level schemas and constructed two second-level schemas. The context is now made of schemas AF, S16S, S21S and S22S.

If we continued with this principle, Enest would construct third-level schemas on the third cycle, fourth-level schemas on the fourth cycle, and so on. This means that at each new cycle, the context would be a structure representing Ernest's whole life up to this point. For scalability reason, we cannot handle such a complexity, thus, in this experiment, we forbid higher-level schema construction above level two.

These two levels of schemas are enough for Ernest to succeed in the aA..bB task because these schemas memory span is equal to this task regularity span.

In this experiment, first-level schemas and second-level schemas are only used to propose elementary schemas, but they are not themselves enacted. To go ahead, we need to implement these schemas enaction.

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