Dark Knowledge in Qualitative Reasoning: A Call to Arms

author: Kenneth Forbus, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University
author: Dedre Gentner, Northwestern University
published: July 22, 2009,   recorded: June 2009,   views: 5165


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While people do qualitative reasoning, there is ample evidence that they do not always do it well. Two current crises, human-induced climate change and the financial meltdown, can be traced in part to faulty mental models. The QR community has formalisms that can potentially help with public education about such problems, but so far we have not been very successful in doing so. We claim that part of the reason is that current QR accounts do not adequately incorporate experiential knowledge. We argue that it is important to find better ways to improve public qualitative reasoning abilities, in part by helping people enlist their experience-based models via analogy.

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