Controlling combinatorial explosion in inference via synergy with nonlinear-dynamical attention allocation

Ben Goertzel, Misgana Bayetta Belachew, Matthew Ikle’, Gino Tu Yu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


One of the core principles of the OpenCog AGI design, “cognitive synergy”, is exemplified by the synergy between logical reasoning and attention allocation. This synergy centers on a feedback in which nonlinear-dynamical attention-spreading guides logical inference control, and inference directs attention to surprising new conclusions it has created. In this paper we report computational experiments in which this synergy is demonstrated in practice, in the context of a very simple logical inference problem. More specifically: First-order probabilistic inference generates conclusions, and its inference steps are pruned via “Short Term importance” (STI) attention values associated to the logical Atoms it manipulates. As inference generates conclusions, information theory is used to assess the surprisingness value of these conclusions, and the “short term importance” attention values of the Atoms representing the conclusions are updated accordingly. The result of this feedback is that meaningful conclusions are drawn after many fewer inference steps than would be the case without the introduction of attention allocation dynamics and feedback therewith. This simple example demonstrates a cognitive dynamic that is hypothesized to be very broadly valuable for general intelligence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial General Intelligence - 9th International Conference, AGI 2016, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319416489
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Event9th International Conference on Artificial General Intelligence, AGI 2016 - New York, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 201619 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference9th International Conference on Artificial General Intelligence, AGI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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