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).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ernest 11.2 in the Small Loop Problem

This video shows Ernest 11.2's temporal memory (up-left) and spatial memory (right) in the Small Loop Problem (bottom-left).

Like Ernest 11.1, Ernest 11.2 keeps track of interactions in his spatial memory. Touch interactions are represented by squares, move by white triangles, bump by red triangles, turn by half-circles.

Interactions that are enacted at the same spatial place are bundled together to represent the phenomenon that afforded them. The Small Loop Problem offers two kinds of phenomena: empty squares and walls. In temporal memory, the construction of bundles is represented by gray rounded rectangles (upper part). In spatial memory, bundles are represented by gray circles that contain interactions. These circles are fading to represent spatial memory decay.

For example, on step 13, Ernest bundles together the interactions touch front wall and bump. On step 19, the fact that Ernest touches a wall activates the still-partial wall bundle in front of Ernest (right side of spatial memory). This activation reminded Ernest that moving forward would cause bumping, which made him refrain from trying to move forward.

Ernest 11.2's spatial mechanism helps him perform better than Ernest 7 in the Small Loop Problem. Ernest 11.2 does not, however, constitute a full solution to the Small Loop Problem because he has pre-implemented knowledge. The position of interactions relatively to Ernest's body were hard-wired in spatial memory. Additionally, the consequences that certain interactions have on spatial memory were pre-implemented: move translates spatial memory and turn rotates spatial memory. A full solution to the Small Loop Problem must eliminate such pre-implemented assumptions.

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