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Title: Concepts and analogies in cybernetics : mathematical investigations of the role of analogy in concept formation and problem solving; with emphasis for conflict resolution via object and morphism eliminations
Author: Meletis, C. P.
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 1977
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We address two problematic areas of cybernetics; nam. Analogical Problem Solving (APS) and Analogical Learning (AL). Both these human faculties do unquestionably require Intelligence. In addition, we point out that shifting of representations is the main unified theme underlying these two intellectual tasks. We focus our attention on the formulation and clarification of the notion of analogy, which has been loosely treated and used in the literature; and also on its role in shifting of representations. We describe analogizing situations in a new representational scheme, borrowed from mathematics and modified and extended to cater for our targets. We call it k-structure, closely resembling semantic networks and directed graphs; the main components of it are the so-called objects and morphisms. We argue and substantiate the need for such a representation scheme, by analysing what its constituents stand for and by cataloguing its virtues, the main one being its visual appeal and its mathematical clarity, and by listing its disadvantages when it is compared to other representation systems. Emphasis is also given to its descriptive power and usefulness by implementing it in a number of APS and AL situations. Besides representation issues, attention is paid to intelligence mechanisms which are involved in APS and AL. A cornerstone in APS and a fundamental theme in AL is the 'skeletization of k-structures'. APS is conceived as 'harmonization of skeletons'. The methodology we develop involves techniques which are computer implemented and extensively studied in theoretic terms via a proposed theory for extended k-structures. To name but a few: 1. 'the separation of the context of a concept from the concept itself', based on the ideas of k-opens and k-spaces; 2, 'object and morphism elimination' of a controversial nature; and 3. 'conflict or deadlock or dilemma resolution' which naturally arises in a k-structure interaction. The overall system, is then applied to capture the essence of EVANS' (1963) analogy-type problems and WINSTOM (1970) learning-type situations. In our attempt not to be too informal, we use basic notions and terminology from abstract Algebra, Topology and Category theory. We rather tend to be "non-logical" (analogical) in EVANS' and WINSTON's sense; "non-numeric", in MESAROVIC (1970) terms (we rather deal with abstract conceptual entities); "non-linguistic" (we do not touch natural language); and "non-resolution" oriented, in the sense of BLEDSOE (1977). However, we give hints sometimes about logical deductive axiomatic systems, employing First Order Predicate Calculus (FOPC); and about semiotics, by which we denote syntactic-semantic-pragmatic features of our system and issues of the problem domains it is acting upon. We believe in what we call: shift from the traditional 'Heuristic search paradigm' era to the 'Analogy-paradigm' era underlying Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics. We justify this merely by listing a number of A. I. works, which employ, in some way or another, the concept of analogy, over the last fifteen years or so, where a noticeable peak is obvious during the last years and especially in 1977. Finally, we hope that if the proposed conceptual framework and techniques developed do not straightforwardly constitute some kind of platform for Artificial Intelligence, at least it would give some insights into and illuminate our understanding of the two most fundamental faculties the human brain is occupied with; namely problem solving and learning.
Supervisor: George, F. H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available