Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What is cognitive modeling?

The term Cognition refers to the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses. Modeling refers to the process of devising a representation, especially a mathematical one. Collectively, Cognitive modeling deals with simulating problem solving and other mental tasks in a computerized model.  I believe that two important questions would have flashed your mind after reading the definition of cognitive modeling. First: Assuming that it is possible to imitate the task process of human brain, what is the prospective of cognitive modeling from application point of view? Second:  How are the cognitive models represented (i.e. how does it actually work?).

Cognitive modeling is being used in different artificial intelligence application especially neural networks, robotics and virtual reality. It plays a crucial role in the development of futuristic applications which can be programmed in such a way that the application will be capable enough to imitate or rather predict human perception and react correspondingly. It provides support for large scale decision making especially for the marketing and sales sector. Currently, Cognitive models are commonly found in Computer games (making it more interactive and realistic). Example of a system that uses cognitive modelling: an intelligent tutoring system for school children which can gradually increase the retention capacity of a student by analysis and feedback.

Cognitive models are generally represented as mathematical models. Mathematical model refers to a set of equations which takes a set of input to produce the corresponding output. Consider the discrepancy detection application. According to Discrepancy Detection Principle, recollections are more likely to change if a person does not immediately detect discrepancies between misinformation and memory for the original event. At times people recognize a discrepancy between their memory and what they are being told. People might recollect, "I thought I saw a stop sign, but the new information mentions a yield sign, I guess I must be wrong, it was a yield sign." Although the individual recognizes the information as conflicting with their own memories they still adopt it as true. If these discrepancies are not immediately detected they are more likely to be incorporated into memory. To avoid/remove such discrepancies from a statistical data set, a classifier (a set of equations which when provided with the input will be able to classify/identify the inconsistent data points in space) cognitive model.

It is amazing how much can be accomplished using cognitive modeling. It is a hot topic that is under extensive research. We can expect a lot of applications which uses the cognitive model in the near future.

Note: I’m not an expert in Cognitive modeling. The blog article was just an outcome of my passionate interest towards the subject. If you find any corrections, please let me know.

Stay tuned for more.


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