NoumenaCE: Introspection, Speculation and What-If Events Through Theoretical Entities
One of the issues that I've been working through as of late has been, how do I internally model hypothetical entities, situations, events, relationships in regards to a designated spatio-temporal assignment?
What this really amounts to is that I want the NoumenaCognitive Engine to think and reason without initiating an action. This is normally not seen in games - but I'm not trying to implement the status-quo here!
What does Noumena need to do?
Noumena needs to contemplate certain actions via it's own internal belief system. What this contemplation allows for is the ability for Noumena to form it's own internal belief structure (which in turn obviously influences it's eventual actions - potentially heavily) which are based upon it's internal model of the world. This world is built from not only Noumena's raw sensory input, but also the impact that the Noumena-CE perceives it's impact has on/in the environment.
The Noumena system is predicated on the concept of an entity. An entity is basically an atomic element in the world. There are properties associated with an entity, such as red, or dead - the properties themselves, depending on it's complexity may also be entities. It just really depends on the properties complexity.
Entities can be associated through different types of links such as a temporal link for an association that occurs in concert between two entities OR a temporal link signifying that two or more entities have never occurred together.
After some digging, I've settled on the concept of a "Theoretical Entity." The first time I actually read about "theoretical" aspects of cognition was in John Pollock's books, How to Build a Person and Cognitive Carpentry. Both are excellent philosophical books with a dose of AI. I'm sure theoretical entities are addressed in a lot of philosophical books.
A theoretical entity is created when the engine wants to internally structure something that is not necessarily grounded. This allows for the NoumenaCE to create a RED-TANK-THAT FLIES, when all it really knows about is that a tank is a grounded entity, that moves around the terrain and munches soldiers. What's great about theoretical entities is that Noumena can build these internally and if they are ever encountered in the world - either through direct contact or inferred, it can perform a structural promotion from the theoretical entity to a grounded entity. The promotional stage not only deals with the theoretical entity but also any potential associations that the entity has through links to other theoretical entities. These associated entities (either theoretical or grounded) may or may not be promoted along, but their links are maintained and as such may either be degraded or reinforced as applicable over time. Which may lead to the eventual promotion or demotion of an associated entity or property.