Saturday, July 05, 2008

My desktop and a few notes.

Recently I've added support for cognitive entities - these are the internal manifestations of the information/events/objects that are perceived from the environment. This allows for the engine to makes decisions that are not directly tied to the environment, but however can be related to the environment at a later time.

Books that have recently solidified some of the approaches take within the Noumena Cognitive Engine are:
Understanding Understanding by Heinz Von Foerster
Cybernetics of Cybernetics
Cybernetics and Human Knowing
Understanding Systems
Models of Thought by Herbert Simon
An essay, "Human Chess Skill", by Neil Charness. This essay is excellent in that Charness describes the approach that humans take to solving problems (obviously relative to chess) - via an understanding of visual perception, memory and evaluative mechanisms.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Environmental Stabilization

One of the paper's that I've read lately is called: "The Stabilization of Environments" by Hammond, et al. One of the underlying premises is that agents/humans adapt their environments to suit THEIR needs. It's a fascinating paper, covering a lot of the variable bits and pieces that many papers neglect or skirt around. The part that I enjoyed the most is the analysis bit - where there are concrete examples of an agent adapting the environment; as well as an almost how-to of stabilizing behaviors. I found the paper in "Computational theories of Interaction and Agency", edited by Philip Agre.

Work has also been progressing on the Noumena, here is a latest screen capture - I hope to show a capture of the Noumena debugger in short order. It's a bit more entertaining to see how the flow of perceived and generated information as it occurs in the cognitive engine.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Toy Universe for the NoumenaMind Cognitive Engine : Master of the Empire - Express

I'm a huge proponent of doing something, rather than talking about it.

So for the past 2 months I've spent the majority of my leisure time working on two items: First and foremost the Noumena Cognitive Engine and secondly a toy universe (of sorts) that will allow for a demonstrable application of the cognitive engine; and that toy-universe is through the next iteration of MOTE.

The game by design is simple, yet addictive. Each player starts off with a capital and attempts to conquer the randomly generated worlds through the use of Simpletons, Infantry, Panzer Troopers and Tanks. There are no air or water units - that will come in a later version because this first iteration needs to be, not only a fun game, but it also has to serve as a test bed for the initial implementation and integration of the Noumena cognitive engine. There enough moving parts.

Certain terrain features restrict movement of particular unit types, resources are required to build certain units - so there is an artificial economy within this toy universe; one that Noumena must learn to use. Just having an AI engine just "do something" is relatively easy - if you want your solution to be brittle. By brittle I mean a solution that is generally not applicable to other similar contextual situations. The internal foundation and framework of Noumena make use of several weak methods - weak methods are used to solve problems (heuristically) in a context independent manner.

The cognitive engine needs to understand that the reason it moved the Panzer Trooper to counter a Tank inside a mountain pass is because it confined the movement of the Tank, allowed it's units to be concealed, allowed for disproportionate amount of offensive to be administered and at a higher cognitive level to be able to understand that this situation can be used as a cognitive frame for other situations that contain similar associative patterns. (This is not unlike similarities that maybe found within Selfridge's Pandemonium model - you can find the initial paper inside Neurocomputing: Foundations of Research as well as a further exposition inside Computer and Thought - under Pattern Recognition.)

The next steps are to solidify some of the human - toy universe interactions and then continue forth on with the integration of Noumena Cognitive Engine.