On Adaptation in Analogy
Citation:Keane, Mark T. 'On Adaptation in Analogy'. - Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Computer Science, TCD-CS-95-24, 1995, pp47
When people use analogies to solve problems they form an analogical mapping between two domains of knowledge. This mapping may support inferences by analogy that suggest a novel solution to a problem. Several factors have been proposed to be important in selecting this mapping, from among several alternative mappings: structural factors (systematicity and structural consistency) and pragmatic factors (the exploitation of higher-order planning categories). We suggest another set of factors play a role in selecting mappings: adaptability factors. Specifically, if a mapped solution can be adapted easily to a problem, then it will be preferred over an alternative mapping that is less adaptable. Two experiments are reported which test the effects of pragmatic and adaptation factors; using a novel technique in which the story analogue used has two alternative plans either of which can be used to solve an insight problem. In Experiment 1, these plans were varied in terms of their pragmatic-importance (success or failure) and their adaptability. In Experiment 2, the relative adaptability of plans was manipulated. The results suggest that there is little evidence for these specific pragmatic factors, but that adaptability plays a definite role in selecting an analogous plan. The findings suggest that most models need to be extended to include adaptation constraints.
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin, Department of Computer Science
Series/Report no:Computer Science Technical Report