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Interactive Activation
Author(s):
Axel Cleeremans
Institution:
Cognitive Science Research Unit - Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Year:
2004
URL:
http://srsc.ulb.ac.be/pdp/IAC/IAC.html
Project Description:
This Java applet (build with Processing) is a demonstration of "Interactive Activation and Competition" neural networks, as first described by J.L. McClelland in the following paper: McClelland, J.L. (1981). Retrieving general and specific information from stored knowledge of specifics. Proceedings of the Third Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 170-172.

The model was a landmark illustration of how simple networks of interconnected elements (artificial neurons, so to speak) can be organized so as to form a memory system that exhibits several crucial properties of human memory.

In this demo and in the original article, the model captures what someone might know about characters inspired from the 1961 musical "West Side Story", in which two gangs (the "Jets" and the "Sharks") fight for territory and overall dominance. Units, the activation level of which represents the fact that the feature they stand for is true to some degree, are organized in separate groups, each corresponding to the different possible values of a single feature, such as the name of an individual, his age, his education level, his marital status, his occupation, or the gang to which he belongs.

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Manuel Lima | VisualComplexity.com