Cognitive modelling of complex problem solving behaviour

De Obeso Orendain, Alberto (2014) Cognitive modelling of complex problem solving behaviour. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

PDF - Published Version
Download (4MB) | Preview


In the universe of problems humans face every day there is subset characterized by a salient dynamic component. The FireChief task (Omodei & Wearing 1995) is a fire-fighting computer simulation that can be characterized as the acquisition of interactive skills involving fast-paced actions cued by external information. This research describes the process followed to create a cognitive model of this complex dynamic task where full experimental control is not available. The cognitive model provides a detailed description of how cognition and perception interplay to produce the interactive skill of fighting the fire. Several artefacts were produced by this effort including a dynamic task fully compatible with ACT-R, a tool for analysing the data, and a cognitive model whose features enable the replication of several aspects of the empirical data. A key finding is that good performance is linked to an effective combination of strategic control with attention to changing task demands, reflecting time and care taken in informing and effecting action. The contributions of this work towards our understanding of complex problem solving are the methodological approach to the creation of the model, the design patterns embedded in the model (which are a reflection of the cognitive demands imposed by the nature of the task) and mainly an explanation of how skill, described in terms of strategy use, is acquired in complex scenarios. This study also provides a deeper understanding of the interactions observed in the Cañas et al. (2005) dataset, including a computational realisation of how cognitive inflexibility occurs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2014 07:38
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2015 14:44

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update