Qualitative Representations: How People Reason and Learn about the Continuous World

Qualitative Representations: How People Reason and Learn about the Continuous World

Authors: Forbus, Kenneth D.

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262349819

Classification: Fiction

Synopsis: An argument that qualitative representations—symbolic representations that carve continuous phenomena into meaningful units—are central to human cognition.

In this book, Kenneth Forbus proposes that qualitative representations hold the key to one of the deepest mysteries of cognitive science: how we reason and learn about the continuous phenomena surrounding us. Forbus argues that qualitative representations—symbolic representations that carve continuous phenomena into meaningful units—are central to human cognition. Qualitative representations provide a basis for commonsense reasoning, because they enable practical reasoning with very little data; this makes qualitative representations a useful component of natural language semantics. Qualitative representations also provide a foundation for expert reasoning in science and engineering by making explicit the broad categories of things that might happen and enabling causal models that help guide the application of more quantitative knowledge as needed. Qualitative representations are important for creating more human-like artificial intelligence systems with capabilities for spatial reasoning, vision, question answering, and understanding natural language.

Forbus discusses, among other topics, basic ideas of knowledge representation and reasoning; qualitative process theory; qualitative simulation and reasoning about change; compositional modeling; qualitative spatial reasoning; and learning and conceptual change. His argument is notable both for presenting an approach to qualitative reasoning in which analogical reasoning and learning play crucial roles and for marshaling a wide variety of evidence, including the performance of AI systems. Cognitive scientists will find Forbus's account of qualitative representations illuminating; AI scientists will value Forbus's new approach to qualitative representations and the overview he offers.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action

×

SUPPORT GROWING READERS

Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

LightSail Blog
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Believe it or not, test prep season is upon us. With just a few adjustments to your normal LightSail reading block, you can use our platform to help students prepare… Read more
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
November was Native American Heritage Month. Did you know that more than five million people of Native American decent currently live in the United States? The U.S. is home to… Read more
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
At Rosen-LightSail, we are committed to celebrating diversity everyday. From September 15th – October 15th, we specifically celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx… Read more

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.