Case-Based Learning: Predictive Features in Indexing

Colleen M. Seifert*, Kristian J. Hammond, Hollyn M. Johnson, Timothy M. Converse, Thomas F. McDougal, Scott W. Vanderstoep

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Interest in psychological experimentation from the Artificial Intelligence community often takes the form of rigorous post-hoc evaluation of completed computer models. Through an example of our own collaborative research, we advocate a different view of how psychology and AI may be mutually relevant, and propose an integrated approach to the study of learning in humans and machines. We begin with the problem of learning appropriate indices for storing and retrieving information from memory. From a planning task perspective, the most useful indices may be those that predict potential problems and access relevant plans in memory, improving the planner's ability to predict and avoid planning failures. This “predictive features” hypothesis is then supported as a psychological claim, with results showing that such features offer an advantage in terms of the selectivity of reminding because they more distinctively characterize planning situations where differing plans are appropriate. We present a specific case-based model of plan execution, RUNNER, along with its indices for recognizing when to select particular plans—appropriateness conditions—and how these predictive indices serve to enhance learning. We then discuss how this predictive features claim as implemented in the RUNNER model is then tested in a second set of psychological studies. The results show that learning appropriateness conditions results in greater success in recognizing when a past plan is in fact relevant in current processing, and produces more reliable recall of the related information. This form of collaboration has resulted in a unique integration of computational and empirical efforts to create a model of case-based learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalMachine Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • analogical reasoning
  • cased-based reasoning
  • indexing
  • modeling
  • planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence


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