How to (Re)represent it?

“The aim of this project is to identify and study how humans represent information that they want to work with and from which they will obtain new knowledge. Humans have the capability to choose the representation that is just right for them to enable them to solve a new problem, and moreover, if the representation needs to be changed, they can spot this and change it. Unlike humans, machines in general have fixed representations and do not have the understanding of the user. For example, sat-nav systems will only give directions with elementary spatial commands or route planning functions, whereas humans give directions in many forms, for instance in terms of landmarks or other geographic features that are based on shared knowledge.

We want to model in computational systems this inherently human ability to choose or change appropriate representations, and make machines do the same. We want to find out what are the cognitive processes that humans use to select representations, what criteria they use to choose them, and how we can model this ability on machines.” -rep2rep

As part of this role, I developed cognitive profiling measures to assess individual differences in diagram comprehension, and deployed them to 100+ participants via online survey. My other outputs for this project (alongside conference papers and journal articles) included a novel diagram taxonomy; an AI system prototype; behavioural coding scheme.

At the University of Sussex, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, September 2018 to September 2019. Funded by the EPSRC (EP/R030650/1 and EP/R030642/1).

Holly E. A. Sutherland
Holly E. A. Sutherland
Doctoral Candidate