Dynamic encoding of structural uncertainty in gradient symbols

Pyeong Whan Cho, Matthew Goldrick, Richard L. Lewis, Paul Smolensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

An important achievement in modeling online language comprehension is the discovery of the relationship between processing difficulty and surprisal (Hale, 2001; Levy, 2008). However, it is not clear how structural uncertainty can be represented and updated in a continuous-time continuous-state dynamical system model, a reasonable abstraction of neural computation. In this study, we investigate the Gradient Symbolic Computation (GSC) model (Smolensky et al., 2014) and show how it can dynamically encode and update structural uncertainty via the gradient activation of symbolic constituents. We claim that surprisal is closely related to the amount of change in the optimal activation state driven by a new word input. In a simulation study, we demonstrate that the GSC model implementing a simple probabilistic symbolic grammar can simulate the effect of surprisal on processing time. Our model provides a mechanistic account of the effect of surprisal, bridging between probabilistic symbolic models and subsymbolic connectionist models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics, CMCL 2018
EditorsAsad Sayeed, Cassandra Jacobs, Tal Linzen, Marten van Schijndel
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages19-28
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781948087100
StatePublished - 2018
Event8th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics, CMCL 2018 - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2018 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 8th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics, CMCL 2018

Conference

Conference8th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics, CMCL 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City
Period1/7/18 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

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