Overview

Welcome to the COGENT tutorial. This tutorial aims to teach the use of COGENT by developing three "research programmes". A COGENT research programme is just a set of related cognitive models. The models in the first research programme are relatively basic. They relate to a very simple-minded view of categorisation, and are not intended to be cognitively plausible. The models in the second research programme perform multi-column addition. These models are more complex than those of the initial research programme, and illustrate several key aspects of the COGENT approach. Their psychological plausibility, though greater than the initial models, is still, however,slight. The models in the thrid research programme are more advanced. These models concern behaviour in a medical diagnosis task for which empirical data exists, and several of the models have been published (see Fox & Cooper, 1997; Cooper & Fox, 1997; Yule, Cooper & Fox, 1998).

The structure of the tutorial is as follows:

  1. Overview
    This overview of the tutorial.
  2. Preliminaries
    Background information on what COGENT is, and what COGENT isn't.
  3. Research Programmes
    A brief outline of the concept of a research programme as employed by COGENT, along with a description of the functionality provided by COGENT for dealing with research programmes.
  4. The Graphical Interface
    A description of how to use the graphical front-end provided by COGENT to draw a box/arrow diagram. An example toy model (of exemplar-based categorisation) is used to illustrate the concepts.
  5. Putting Flesh on the Bones
    The toy model of categorisation is fleshed out to give a complete COGENT model.
  6. Fundamentals of Processing
    An example led description of the processing cycle. The toy model of categorisation is run to illustrate the interaction of boxes within COGENT.
  7. More Flesh
    Some improvements to the toy model of categorisation are considered.
  8. Representation
    A brief tour of the representation language used by COGENT.
  9. Pattern Matching
    An introduction to unification, the underlying pattern matching mechanism that is used by COGENT to guide processing.
  10. Notes on Methodology
    Some information about theoretical and methodological commitments embodied in COGENT.
  11. A Model of Multi-Column Addition
    A detailed description of a simple model of multi-column addition, illustrating the use of object properties within COGENT.
  12. Model 1: A Propositional Model of Medical Diagnosis
    A step by step guide to the construction of a model of the performance of a task for which real psychological data is available.
  13. Model 1a: Elaborating the Experimental Environment
    An elaboration of Model 1 in which COGENT is used to model the experimental environment in which the subject is placed, and in which various COGENT facilities are used to collect and collate subject responses.
  14. Model 2: A First-Order Model of Medical Diagnosis
    A generalisation of Model 1 obtained by a representational change. Model 1 uses propositional representations of the subject's knowledge. Model 2 uses first-order representations, thus significantly reducing the apparent complexity of the model.
This tutorial can be found on the web at: http://cogent.psyc.bbk.ac.uk/tutorials/