Nonmonotonic inferences and neural networks

Synthese 142 (2):143 - 174 (2004)
There is a gap between two different modes of computation: the symbolic mode and the subsymbolic (neuron-like) mode. The aim of this paper is to overcome this gap by viewing symbolism as a high-level description of the properties of (a class of) neural networks. Combining methods of algebraic semantics and non-monotonic logic, the possibility of integrating both modes of viewing cognition is demonstrated. The main results are (a) that certain activities of connectionist networks can be interpreted as non-monotonic inferences, and (b) that there is a strict correspondence between the coding of knowledge in Hopfield networks and the knowledge representation in weight-annotated Poole systems. These results show the usefulness of non-monotonic logic as a descriptive and analytic tool for analyzing emerging properties of connectionist networks. Assuming an exponential development of the weight function, the present account relates to optimality theory – a general framework that aims to integrate insights from symbolism and connectionism. The paper concludes with some speculations about extending the present ideas.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.2307/20118505
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Smolensky (1988). On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.
Daniel C. Dennett (1996). Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.

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