Anigrafs: Experiments In Cooperative Cognitive Architecture

Paperback | April 24, 2015

byWhitman Richards

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In this book, Whitman Richards offers a novel and provocative proposal for understanding decision making and human behavior. Building on Valentino Braitenberg's famous "vehicles," Richards describes a collection of mental organisms that he calls "daemons" -- virtual correlates of neural modules. Daemons have favored choices and make decisions that control behaviors of the group to which they belong, with each daemon preferring a different outcome. Richards arranges these preferences in graphs, linking similar choices, which thus reinforce each other. "Anigrafs" refers to these two components -- animals, or the mental organisms (agents or daemons), and the graphs that show similarity relations. Together these two components are the basis of a new cognitive architecture.

In Richards's account, a collection of daemons compete for control of the cognitive system in which they reside; the challenge is to get the daemons to agree on one of many choices. Richards explores the results of group decisions, emphasizing the Condorcet voting procedure for aggregating preferences. A neural mechanism is proposed. Anigrafs presents a series of group decisions that incorporate simple and complex movements, as well as aspects of cognition and belief. Anigrafs concludes with a section on "metagrafs," which chart relationships between different anigraf models.

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From the Publisher

In this book, Whitman Richards offers a novel and provocative proposal for understanding decision making and human behavior. Building on Valentino Braitenberg's famous "vehicles," Richards describes a collection of mental organisms that he calls "daemons" -- virtual correlates of neural modules. Daemons have favored choices and make de...

Whitman Richards is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, and is affiliated with MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). He has been a member of MIT's faculty for fifty years.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:168 pages, 8 × 5.38 × 0.38 inPublished:April 24, 2015Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262527782

ISBN - 13:9780262527781

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This volume is a delightful exploration of an innovative approach to cognition and will be of interest both to cognitive theoreticians and to systems builders looking for new metaphors for composing simple parts into more complex structures.