Hanging Together: A Connectionist Model of Similarity

Goldstone, R. L. (1998). Hanging Together: A connectionist model of similarity. In J. Grainger & A. M. Jacobs (Eds.)  Localist Connectionist Approaches to Human Cognition.  (pp. 283 – 325).  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Human judgments of similarity have traditionally been modelled by measuring the distance between the compared items in a psychological space, or the overlap between the items` featural representations. An alternative approach, inspired jointly by work in analogical reasoning (D. Gentner, 1983; K. T. Holyoak & P. Thagard, 1989) and interactive activation models of perception (J. L. McClelland & D. E. Rumelhart, 1981), views the process of judging similarity as one of establishing alignments between the parts of compared entities. A localist connectionist model of similarity, SIAM, is described wherein units represent correspondences between scene parts, and these units mutually and concurrently influence each other according to their compatability. The model is primarily applied to similarity rating tasks, but is also applied to other indirect measures of similarity, to judgments of alignment between scene parts, to impressions of comparison difficulty, and to patterns of perceptual sensitivity for matching and mismatching features.

View This Paper (HTML) [without figures, but with equations]

Download PDF version of this paper