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A. Newell & H. Simon, The Theory of Human Problem Solving; reprinted in Collins & Smith (eds.), Readings in Cognitive Science, section 1.3.

Author of the summary: Patrawadee Prasangsit, 1999, pp@cc.gatech.edu

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Humans are representable as information processing systems (IPS)

IPS consists of an active processor, input (sensory) and output (motor) systems, and internal LTM and STM, and EM.

How much processing and IPS can accomplish per unit of time depends on three parameters.
  1. The number of processes it can do simultaneously
  2. The time it takes to do each process
  3. The amount of work done by each individual process

Human IPS is a serial system, meaning that it can execute one elementary information process at a time.

Long-Term Memory (LTM)

Short-Term Memory (STM) External Memory (EM) Perception of IPS - Has separate sensory systems for different kinds of information about the external environment.

Problem solving in human is goal-directed.  It takes place by search in a problem space i.e., by considering one knowledge state after another until a desired knowledge state is reached.  The search may involve backup (return to old knowledge states).

Other notes:

Summary author's notes:

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Last modified: Mon May 3 03:02:17 EDT 1999