The Evolution of Concept-Acquisition based on Developmental Psychology

Hui Wei

A conceptual system with rich connotation is key to improving the performance of knowledge-based artificial intelligence systems. While a conceptual system, which has abundant concepts and rich semantic relationships, and is developable, evolvable, and adaptable to multi-task environments, its actual construction is not only one of the major challenges of knowledge engineering, but also the fundamental goal of research on knowledge and conceptualization. Finding a new method to represent concepts and construct a conceptual system will therefore greatly improve the performance of many intelligent systems. Fortunately the core of human cognition is a system with relatively complete concepts and a mechanism that ensures the establishment and development of the system. The human conceptual system can not be achieved immediately, but rather must develop gradually. Developmental psychology carefully observes the process of concept acquisition in humans at the behavioral level, and along with cognitive psychology has proposed some rough explanations of those observations. However, due to the lack of research in aspects such as representation, systematic models, algorithm details and realization, many of the results of developmental psychology have not been applied directly to the building of artificial conceptual systems. For example, Karmiloff-Smith's Representation Redescription (RR) supposition reflects a concept-acquisition process that re-describes a lower level representation of a concept to a higher one. This paper is inspired by this developmental psychology viewpoint. We use an object-oriented approach to re-explain and materialize RR supposition from the formal semantic perspective, because the OO paradigm is a natural way to describe the outside world, and it also has strict grammar regulations.

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