Studies of Verbal Problem Solving. 1. Two Performance-Aiding Programs
Technical rept. 1 Jul-30 Sep 1977
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES BEHAVIORAL TECHNOLOGY LABS
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Two computer programs were written to provide on-line aiding to human problem solvers. Both programs were written in time-shared BASIC, and were designed for membership problems. In this kind of problem, these are several English sentences and implicit in the sentences are various relations the task is to infer a membership structure that is compatible with all the logical constraints. Membership problems may be cast in various settings, such as a murder mystery where a culprit is to be identified. One program FIRST was based on Findlers Universal Puzzle Solver concept the other GABE used Wangs theorem-prover logic. In both programs, the human operator converted English problem sentences to logical membership relations. The programs kept track of all relations entered, indicated when more data inputs were needed, and scored whether a correct answer was achieved. Of the two programs, FIRST appears to be most feasible with ordinary college subjects. It accepts logical inputs in a near-English format, and shows current logical status of a problem via tabular arrays of Xs and Os. The present version of GABE used a strict p, q, r logical notation college subjects find this difficult and unsatisfactory.
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