:: ICCM 2007 ::

Tutorial Program
International Conference on Cognitive Modeling
26 July 2007

Early registration deadline: 15 June 2007



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Introduction:The Tutorials program at ICCM 2007 will be held on Thursday 26 July 2007 at the Rackham building at the University of Michigan. [travel directions to the campus] [map to the building] [description of Rackham] The format of this year's program is modelled on previously successful ICCM tutorials, and is similar to the series held at the annual Cognitive Science Society Conferences.

Registration: Tutorials cost $60 for each half-day of tutorial for non-students and $40 for students (bring ID to show at registration). You are encouraged to register through the conference site, or, if space is available, paid for on the day. Lunch can be purchased seperately near the tutorial site. Attendance at the tutorials does not require conference registration; tutorial registration does not provide conference entrance. If you are not registering for the conference, you can register for the tutorials at the door. To attend a tutorial you need to be registered.

There will be a meeting of the tutorial committee, tutors, and interested tutees after the tutorials, location to be announced at the tutorials.

Registration for tutorial attendees will be from 8.30 am on 26 July at the ground floor of the Rackham building. It should take less than 5 minutes to get from the tutorial desk to the tutorial rooms, but please allow yourself this time to get to the room.

If you have a lap top, please bring it to the sessions, as you will work in pairs in most of the tutorials.

The morning session includes a 15 min. coffee break, and the afternoon session includes a 15 min. tea break.

Directions: If you fly into Detroit airport you can take a taxi or bus or rent a car to get to the Ann Arbor.

Once in town, use the directions on the main conference site. Please note, that parking is difficult in Ann Arbor.



Advanced Tutorial on ACT-R 6.0
Anderson et al., Full-day (0915-1700)

An introduction to the COGENT Cognitive Modelling Environment
Cooper, Half-day (1345-1700)

Laird et al., Full-day (0915-1700)

Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Modeling Using Leabra In PDP++
Noelle , Full-day (0915-1700)


Advanced Tutorial on ACT-R 6.0

Full-day tutorial (0915-1700) [more information on ACT-R] [more on tutorial]
in Rackham, room to be announced

John Anderson
Daniel Bothell
Christian Lebiere
Niels Taatgen

Carnegie Mellon University

This tutorial is intended for experienced users of ACT-R and will focus on new developments in ACT-R 6.0. In particular, the tutorial will discuss the topics Mapping ACT-R onto the Brain, Creating New Devices and New Modules, Linking to Other Architectures, and The Representation and Learning of Instructions.

Prerequisite knowledge: We expect participants to have some general programming experience and a basic understanding of symbolic processing. Some prior knowledge of ACT-R or rule-based systems is required.

John R. Anderson is the R. K. Mellon University Professor of Psychology and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has led the development of the ACT-R cognitive architecture and its applications, especially intelligent tutoring systems. Daniel Bothell is a senior research programmer at Carnegie Mellon. He is responsible for the implementation, documentation, and maintenance of ACT-R 6.0. Christian Lebiere is a research psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University. He was responsible for earlier implementations of ACT-R and is currently pursuing integration efforts with the Leabra architecture. Niels Taatgen is Universitair Hoofddocent in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Groningen and a visiting associate professor at Carnegie Mellon. He has played a leading role in the development of procedural learning mechanisms in ACT-R.


An introduction to the COGENT Cognitive Modelling Environment
Half-day tutorial (1400-1715) [more information on COGENT] [more on tutorial] [more on software for tutorial]
in Rackham, room to be announced

Richard Cooper
School of Psychology, Birkbeck College

COGENT is a graphical environment for cognitive modelling. It provides domain-general facilities for developing, running and evaluating computational models based on a box and arrow notation. The system allows users to 1) sketch the functional components of their model; 2) flesh out such a sketch by specifying the computational properties of boxes or writing production-like rules; and 3) explore the behaviour of the resulting model through "computational experiments". COGENT is currently being used for both cognitive
modelling teaching and research in several institutions and an introductory cognitive modelling text using the environment was published in 2002 (Cooper, 2002).

The tutorial will introduce attendees to the environment by stepping through the development and testing of an implementation of Atkinson and Shiffrin's (1968) Modal Model of memory. Attendees will then explore the effects of model parameters (such as short-term store capacity or the rate of information transfer from short-term store to long-term store) on the free recall behaviour of the model. On completing the tutorial attendees will have sufficient expertise in COGENT to make an informed decision about whether it is appropriate for their needs and to begin to develop their own models. Minimal computational expertise will be assumed.

Prerequisite knowledge: We expect participants to have some general programming experience and a basic understanding of symbolic processing.

Dr. Richard Cooper (14/04/65): B.Math. (Hons, Class 1) University of Newcastle, Australia, 1986; Ph.D. (Cognitive Science) University of Edinburgh, 1991; Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Cognitive Modelling, UCL, London, 1990-95); Lecturer (Department of Psychology, Birkbeck College, London, 1995-2000); Reader in Cognitive Science (Department of Psychology, Birkbeck College, London, 2000-present); Since 1990 Cooper has been working on methodological and practical aspects of cognitive modelling, as well as modelling in the domain of action selection. The former work led to the development of the COGENTmodelling environment. He has experience in both symbolic and connectionist modelling, and a particular interest in the modelling of neuropsychological disorders.

Cooper has extensive experience presenting tutorials on the COGENT system, having presented COGENT tutorials more than half a dozen times at CogSci conferences and editions of the ICCM (as well as at specialist COGENT workshops). He also has over 15 years experience in lecturing at undergraduate and postgraduate level.


Full-day (0915-1700) [more information on Soar] [more on tutorial]
in Rackham, room to be announced

John E. Laird
Bob Marinier
Nick Gorski

University of Michigan

The tutorial will provide participants an understanding of the details of Soar so that they can create simple Soar programs. This will be a full-day hands-on tutorial that starts with an overview of Soar, its history, goals, and previous research done with it. The rest of the morning will emphasize understanding the syntax and structure of the architecture (the memories and processes), and the emphasis in the afternoon on agent development. In the morning, participants will learn to run, modify, and debug small demonstration programs that illustrate the various parts of Soar's structure, including it new reinforcement learning component. They will also be introduced to Soar‚s editing, debugging, and runtime tools. In the afternoon, we will work on simple agents that interact with a dynamic simulated environment. The students will build their own complete agents that navigate and compete in a simple maze world.

John E. Laird is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1983. His research interests spring from a desire to understand the nature of the architecture underlying artificial and natural intelligence. He is one of the original developers of the Soar architecture and leads its continued development and evolution. Over the last ten years he has been developing autonomous agents for military simulations and interactive computer games. His current research includes extending Soar through the addition of reinforcement, semantic, and episodic learning, as well as emotions, spatial reasoning and imagery, and clustering. He is a Fellow of AAAI and ACM.


Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Modeling Using Leabra In PDP++
Full-day (0915-1700)
in Rackham, room to be announced

David C. Noelle
University of California,

Computational cognitive neuroscience involves the fabrication, analysis, and evaluation of computational models that attempt to bridge the gap between brain function and overt behavior. The Leabra modeling framework provides an integrated collection of conceptual tools for the construction of such models. Leabra incorporates important biological features of neural systems, such as membrane potential dynamics, rapid shunting lateral inhibition, and biologically realistic mechanisms for synaptic plasticity, while incorporating computationally efficient approximations of aggregate network behavior, allowing model simulations to scale up to tasks of psychological relevance. Thus, Leabra spans a middle ground between biophysically detailed neural simulations and cognitive models, including abstract connectionist models, that are grounded in psychological theory. Leabra has been implemented in the PDP++ simulator: an open source software package that includes support for a variety of connectionist frameworks in addition to Leabra. PDP++ provides a graphical point-and-click interface for constructing, executing, and analyzing computational models, but it may also be easily extended through the incorporation of additonal C++ code. This tutorial will provide an overview of the Leabra framework, as well as hands-on experience with Leabra models of perception, attention, learning, memory, and cognitive control.

David C. Noelle is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Merced, with appointments in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. Until recently, he was Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at Vanderbilt University. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego, and did postdoctoral work at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. His research primarily involves the design, analysis, and evaluation of computational cognitive neuroscience models of rule learning and rule use, with a focus on the role of prefrontal cortex in the learning and production of rule-guided behavior. Along with an international team of collaborators, he is currently investigating the development of hierarchical control representations in frontal cortex, employing computational models using the Leabra framework. One of these fellow scientists is Randy O'Reilly, the principal architect of Leabra, with whom Noelle has been collaborating for almost ten years. Indeed, Noelle has taught computational cognitive neuroscience modeling techniques using PDP++ for nearly a decade.


Important Dates

  • 28 XXXry 2007: Camera-ready abstract copy due for inclusion in proceedings and advertisements.
  • 29 June 2007: Camera-ready tutorial notes due (if we are to copy)

Committee members

Frank E. Ritter (Penn State, Chair)

Karen Alexa (Michigan)
Erik Altmann (Michigan State)
Fabio Del Missier (Trento)
Glenn Gunzelmann (Air Force Research Laboratory)
Randolph M. Jones (Soar Technology)
Katharina Scheiter (Tuebingen)

Further contact details:

Frank E. Ritter
College of Information Sciences and Technology
University Park, PA 16802

Tel: + 1 814 865 4453

General Contact: ICCM2007@eecs.umich.edu.

Mail contact

ICCM 2007 Secretary
c/o Karen Alexa
Computer Science Engineering
University of Michigan
2260 Hayward
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121

last updated 6 July 07

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