Sunday, November 24, 2013

Basic cognitive ontology

A basic ontology of cognitive processes is presented in the hasse diagram below. This defines cognition in terms of perception, optimization, learning, and categorization.

I have been saying for a while now that perceptual learning is fundamental to cognition and I have written about this so it shouldn't be too surprising that perception and learning are both listed above. What is perhaps more interesting is that I now list categorization as a core cognitive process.

After creating so many ontologies like this one it is my contention that the categorization and characterization of entities plays a fundamental role in cognition. Simply having a vast ontology like the one provided by Cyc is not enough however as an intelligent agent should also be able to form new categories on the fly using clustering.

In a way essentially every cognitive process can be described as optimization, learning for example can be described as finding an optimal model that fits an experiential data set. Optimization and learning are deeply connected through the process of reinforcement learning which teaches an intelligent agent to perform optimally in its environment. Optimization and learning are so closely tied to one another it is questionable rather they should even be described as separate processes.

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