Poster
A complexity measure for intuitive theories
Charles Kemp · Noah Goodman · Josh Tenenbaum

Wed Dec 5th 10:30 -- 10:40 AM @ None #None

Much of human knowledge is organized into sophisticated systems that are often called intuitive theories. We propose that intuitive theories are mentally represented in a logical language, and that the subjective complexity of a theory is determined by the length of its representation in this language. This complexity measure helps to explain how theories are learned from relational data, and how theories support inductive inferences about unobserved relations. We describe two behavioral experiments that test our approach, and show that our measure accounts better for subjective complexity than a measure developed by Nelson Goodman.

Author Information

Charles Kemp (Carnegie Mellon University)
Noah Goodman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Josh Tenenbaum is an Associate Professor of Computational Cognitive Science at MIT in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He studies learning and inference in humans and machines, with the twin goals of understanding human intelligence in computational terms and bringing computers closer to human capacities. He focuses on problems of inductive generalization from limited data -- learning concepts and word meanings, inferring causal relations or goals -- and learning abstract knowledge that supports these inductive leaps in the form of probabilistic generative models or 'intuitive theories'. He has also developed several novel machine learning methods inspired by human learning and perception, most notably Isomap, an approach to unsupervised learning of nonlinear manifolds in high-dimensional data. He has been Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science, has been active on program committees for the CogSci and NIPS conferences, and has co-organized a number of workshops, tutorials and summer schools in human and machine learning. Several of his papers have received outstanding paper awards or best student paper awards at the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), NIPS, and Cognitive Science conferences. He is the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology (2005), the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2007), and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (in the area of cognition and human learning) from the American Psychological Association (2008).

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