What is connectionism?

Abstract

Connectionism is a style of modeling based upon networks of interconnected simple processing devices. This style of modeling goes by a number of other names too. Connectionist models are also sometimes referred to as 'Parallel Distributed Processing' (or PDP for short) models or networks.1 Connectionist systems are also sometimes referred to as 'neural networks' (abbreviated to NNs) or 'artificial neural networks' (abbreviated to ANNs). Although there may be some rhetorical appeal to this neural nomenclature, it is in fact misleading as connectionist networks are commonly significantly dissimilar to neurological systems. For this reason, I will avoid using this terminology, other than in direct quotations. Instead, I will follow the practice I have adopted above and use 'connectionist' as my primary term for systems of this kind

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