Conceptual Spaces for Cognitive Architectures: A lingua franca for different levels of representation

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Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, ISSN: 2212-683X, Vol: 19, Page: 1-9

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Antonio Lieto; Antonio Chella; Marcello Frixione
Elsevier BV
Psychology; Neuroscience; Computer Science
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During the last decades, many Cognitive Architectures (CAs) have been realized adopting different assumptions about the organization and the representation of their knowledge level. Some of them (e.g. SOAR (Laird, 2012)) adopt a classical symbolic approach, some (e.g. LEABRA O’Reilly and Munakata (2000)) are based on a purely connectionist model, while others (e.g. CLARION (Sun, 2006)) adopt a hybrid approach combining connectionist and symbolic representational levels. Additionally, some attempts (e.g. biSOAR) trying to extend the representational capacities of CAs by integrating diagrammatical representations and reasoning are also available (Kurup & Chandrasekaran, 2007). In this paper we propose a reflection on the role that Conceptual Spaces, a framework developed by Gärdenfors (2000) more than fifteen years ago, can play in the current development of the Knowledge Level in Cognitive Systems and Architectures. In particular, we claim that Conceptual Spaces offer a lingua franca that allows to unify and generalize many aspects of the symbolic, sub-symbolic and diagrammatic approaches (by overcoming some of their typical problems) and to integrate them on a common ground. In doing so we extend and detail some of the arguments explored by Gärdenfors (1997) for defending the need of a conceptual, intermediate, representation level between the symbolic and the sub-symbolic one. In particular we focus on the advantages offered by Conceptual Spaces (with respect to symbolic and sub-symbolic approaches) in dealing with the problem of compositionality of representations based on typicality traits. Additionally, we argue that Conceptual Spaces could offer a unifying framework for interpreting many kinds of diagrammatic and analogical representations. As a consequence, their adoption could also favor the integration of diagrammatical representation and reasoning in CAs.