Interruptibility as a constraint on hybrid systems

Minds and Machines 3 (1):73-96 (1993)
It is widely mooted that a plausible computational cognitive model should involve both symbolic and connectionist components. However, sound principles for combining these components within a hybrid system are currently lacking; the design of such systems is oftenad hoc. In an attempt to ameliorate this we provide a framework of types of hybrid systems and constraints therein, within which to explore the issues. In particular, we suggest the use of system independent constraints, whose source lies in general considerations about cognitive systems, rather than in particular technological or task-based considerations. We illustrate this through a detailed examination of an interruptibility constraint: handling interruptions is a fundamental facet of cognition in a dynamic world. Aspects of interruptions are delineated, as are their precise expression in symbolic and connectionist systems. We illustrate the interaction of the various constraints from interruptibility in the different types of hybrid systems. The picture that emerges of the relationship between the connectionist and the symbolic within a hybrid system provides for sufficient flexibility and complexity to suggest interesting general implications for cognition, thus vindicating the utility of the framework.
Keywords Cognitive models  interruptions  hybrid systems  connectionism  symbolic systems  constraints on hybrid systems
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DOI 10.1007/BF00974306
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Jon Barwise & John Perry (1981). Situations and Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (11):668-691.

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