Comparing Learning Methods

Comparing Learning Methods

Mercedes Hidalgo-Herrero (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Ismael Rodríguez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) and Fernando Rubio (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/jcini.2009070102
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In this article we perform some experiments to study how an automatic system learns a set of rules from its interaction with an artificial environment. In particular, we are interested in comparing these capabilities to the skills shown by humans to learn the same rules in similar conditions. We perform this analysis by conducting two experiments. On the one hand, we observe the evolution of the automatic learning system in terms of its performance along time. At the beginning, the system does not know the rules, but it can observe the positive/negative results of its decisions. As its knowledge about the environment becomes more precise, its performance improves. On the other hand, seventy students faced the same artificial environment in the same conditions, though this time the experiment was presented as a game. The objective of the game consists in gaining points, but the rules of the game are not known a priori. So, there is a clear incentive for finding them out. We use these experiments to compare the learning curves of both humans and automatic systems, and we use this information to analyze the similarities/differences between both learning processes. In particular, we are interested in assessing how close the automatic system is from passing the Turing test.

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