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"Developing cognitive architecture for modelling and simulation of cognition and error in complex tasks" - paper frame

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Grant, S. (unpublished) Developing cognitive architecture for modelling and simulations of cognition and error in complex tasks. Paper presented at a meeting of the RoHMI project, Valenciennes, February 1996


Simon Grant
(then at) European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Institute for Systems Engineering and Informatics
Ispra, Italy


A cognitive architecture embodies the more general structures and mechanisms out of which could be made a model of individual cognition in a certain situation. The space of models and architectures has a number of dimensions, including: dependence on domain; level of specification; and extent of coverage of different phenomena.

Cognitive architectures can be assessed in terms of their ability to support the construction of models and simulations of cognition and error. ACT-R is an example of a moderately specified architecture, in which one can build such simulation models. There are some features that are important in the study of complex tasks that ACT-R is not well-adapted to modelling: included among these are the modelling of certain types of error. ACT-R does not by itself strongly constrain a model to be psychologically plausible - that is left to the person building the model. The architecture derived from COSIMO is open to extension and improvement in a similar way.

Relevant work towards developing cognitive architectures for modelling cognition and error in complex tasks can include on the one hand generalizing from domain-specific models, based on results from the study of cognition and errors in real complex tasks, and on the other hand hypothesizing more detailed computational mechanisms for the implementation of general error-prone cognitive abilities, which may be pointed out by cognitive psychology. It would appear to be best if these two approaches progressed hand in hand, since they are two sides of the same enterprise.


1 Introduction

2 Cognitive architecture

2.1 The analogy with architecture of physical structures

2.2 Models and simulations

2.3 The status of cognitive models and architecture

3 The range of cognitive theories, architectures, models, and simulations

3.1 Dimensions and development motives

3.2 The interplay of architectures and models

4 Architectures for modelling errors

4.1 ACT-R


5 Developing cognitive architecture

5.1 An incremental approach

5.2 Approach from the real world towards generality

5.3 Approach from theory towards cognitive relevance

5.4 Balanced approach

6 Conclusions


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