AiS Challenge Team Interim Report


Team Number: 70

School Name: Silver High School

Area of Science: Artificial Intelligence

Project Title: Grosvenor: An Implementation of a New Cognitive Model



Grosvenor: An Implementation of a New Cognitive Model

Roeland Hancock
Presence Designs

One the greatest challenges of man has been to understand himself. A multitude of theories model the mind, but these are only theories—no operating implementation has ever been constructed. Computational technology has now progressed to the point that a partial, if not full, implementation of a mental model can be constructed. One of the most important aspects of a cognitive model is its ability to learn. A successful creation and implementation of such a model will provide an extremely revealing look at the mind and revolutionize cognitive science.

This project's goal is the development and implementation of a new cognitive model. The model will be a cross-disciplinary approach drawing from many sources with most of the foundation based on the “building-block” approach (Minsky 1988).

Grosvenor's ultimate goal is a cognitive model and creation of the first true artificial intelligence (AI), but will have many side applications of immediate practical and commercial use, primarily as a search engine, expert system and reference tool. These commercial opportunities will no doubt be explored in the course of future development as a means of financing further work. This goal will be resource and time intensive; Grosvenor is not expected to come to fruition in the available time frame.

To learn, Grosvenor must have a source of knowledge. Grosvenor will parse English webpages found with an Internet search algorithm based on (Brin & Page, 1998) to autonomously add knowledge to its system. This new knowledge will be stored in a “knowledge net”, a specialized graph data structure interfaced with a PostgreSQL database for non-volatile storage. This data can then later be easily searched and linked together to create associations and comprehension. Grosvenor will be written in C, C++ and possibly a logic language such as PROLOG.

Due to the vast amount of information Grosvenor will encounter and search and the nature of the knowledge net search algorithm, Grosvenor will greatly benefit from, and may even require, a parallel implementation.

Current progress

After much research and thought, the cognitive model has been developed. This model may not be an entirely accurate model of human mental processes, but it is sufficiently valid to be educational and serve as a working definition.
In the way of programming, an internet search algorithm employing and, data structures, and some search algorithms have been coded. Because writing a natural language parser (NLP) is difficult and there are already several available, an existing parser developed at Carnegie Mellon was used.

Although Grosvenor was originally conceived for parallel systems, there have been difficulties implementing this. Grosvenor requires live Internet access for knowledge acquisition, making LANL's theta supercomputer unusable. Mode will allow Internet access, but until very recently PostgreSQL was not installed.

There were some difficulties getting an appropriate computational environment, but these have, for the moment, been resolved. The developer's unfamiliarity with the PostgreSQL API and the poor API documentation have made developing the data handling code slower and more difficult than expected.


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