A Framework for a Theory of Mapping
Interim rept. Mar 1986-Mar 1987
BBN LABS INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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The literature on similarity, analogy, and metaphor ranges over many different kinds of mappings. Some of the disagreements arise because researchers are talking about different kinds of mappings or the different contexts in which mappings are made. Our goal is to clarify the issues being addressed and the critical distinctions that need to be made. We will attempt to consider the entire territory over which the discussion of mapping arises, but no doubt we will miss some of the critical distinctions and issues. We have divided the paper into three main sections. The first section distinguishes the different kinds of entities that are related by analogy and similarity mappings, some of their more salient properties. The second section discusses the different contexts or tasks that give rise to mappings. The third section catalogues the set of issues we have identified in the literature, and identifies some of the different solutions proposed or possible for each issue. In a concluding section we briefly discuss the implications of this framework for research.