BOLT BERANEK AND NEWMAN INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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The report describes a model for the general structure of human long term memory. In this model, information about such things as the meanings of words is stored in a complex network, which then displays some of the desirable properties of a humans semantic memory. Most important of these properties is the capability of the memory to be used inferentially i.e., to allow for the answering of questions besides those specifically anticipated at the time the information is stored in the memory. A computer program is described which illustrates this property by using the memory model inferentially to simulate human performance on a basic semantic task. When the meaning of some segment of natural language text is represented in the format of the model, relationships and features of this meaning must be made explicit which were not explicit in the text itself. This becomes a methodological advantage in an experiment in which a person interprets text, as described.