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Extending the Computational Abilities of the Procedural Learning Mechanism in ACT-R

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2018, 11:14 by Wai-Tat Fu, John R. Anderson
The existing procedural learning mechanism in ACT-R (Anderson & Lebiere, 1998) has been successful in explaining a wide range of adaptive choice behavior. However, the existing mechanism is inherently limited to learning from binary feedback (i.e. whether a reward is received or not). It is thus difficult to capture choice behavior that is sensitive to both the probabilities of receiving a reward and the reward magnitudes. By modifying the temporal difference learning algorithm (Sutton & Barto, 1998), a new procedural learning mechanism is implemented that generalizes and extends the computational abilities of the current mechanism. Models using the new mechanism were fit to three sets of human data collected from experiments of probability learning and decision making tasks. The new procedural learning mechanism fit the data at least as well as the existing mechanism, and is able to fit data that are problematic for the existing mechanism. This paper also shows how the principle of reinforcement learning can be implemented in a production system like ACT-R.


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