Quantification without variables in connectionism

Minds and Machines 6 (2):173-201 (1996)
  Connectionist attention to variables has been too restricted in two ways. First, it has not exploited certain ways of doing without variables in the symbolic arena. One variable-avoidance method, that of logical combinators, is particularly well established there. Secondly, the attention has been largely restricted to variables in long-term rules embodied in connection weight patterns. However, short-lived bodies of information, such as sentence interpretations or inference products, may involve quantification. Therefore short-lived activation patterns may need to achieve the effect of variables. The paper is mainly a theoretical analysis of some benefits and drawbacks of using logical combinators to avoid variables in short-lived connectionist encodings without loss of expressive power. The paper also includes a brief survey of some possible methods for avoiding variables other than by using combinators
Keywords Variables  quantification  systematicity  combinators  reduced representations  symbolic representations  working memory  inference
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