chapter  6
16 Pages

Problem Solving and Dynamic Memory

Problem solving is a widely studied area in both psychology and artificial intelligence (e.g., Hayes-Roth, 1980; Newell & Simon, 1972; Sacerdoti, 1977). Yet, with few exceptions (Ross, 1984), there has been little study of experience's role in the process. Our observations have led us to believe that experience plays two important roles in problem solving (Kolodner & Kolodner, 1983). First, experience contributes to refinement and modification of reasoning processes. Successful experiences reinforce already known rules or previous hypotheses, whereas failures require reanalysis of the reasoning and knowledge that was used, and modification of faulty rules and knowledge. Experience thus plays a

major role in enhancing problem-solving knowledge, in the process turning novices into relatively more expert reasoners. Experience's second role is equally important. Individual experiences act as exemplars upon which to base later decisions. Analogies to previous cases guide and focus later decision making.