What the #$*%! Is a subsymbol?

Minds and Machines 10 (1):1-13 (2000)
In 1988, Smolensky proposed that connectionist processing systems should be understood as operating at what he termed the `subsymbolic'' level. Subsymbolic systems should be understood by comparing them to symbolic systems, in Smolensky''s view. Up until recently, there have been real problems with analyzing and interpreting the operation of connectionist systems which have undergone training. However, recently published work on a network trained on a set of logic problems originally studied by Bechtel and Abrahamsen (1991) seems to offer the potential to provide a detailed, empirically based answer to questions about the nature of subsymbols. In this paper, a network analysis procedure and the results obtained using it are discussed. This provides the basis for an insight into the nature of subsymbols, which is surprising.
Keywords Connectionism  Logic  Network  Symbol  Smolensky, P
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