The collection of papers in the Case Studies Section deals with the
possible applications of the general concept of a GCA Generative Cul- tural Anthropology to all kinds of cultural processes. The GCA paradigm
has been derived from the formalized DAAI Distributed Actor-Actor In- teraction theory, which in turn is a development based on the common HMI Human Machine Interaction paradigm reformulated within the Sys- tems Engineering paradigm. The GCA is a very general and strong theory
paradigm, but, saying this, it is for most people difficult to understand,
because it is highly interdisciplinary, and it needs some formal technical
skills, which are not too common. During the work in the last three
months it became clear, that the original HMI and DAAI approach can
also be understood as the case of something which one could call ACA Applied Cultural Anthropology as part of an GCA. The concept of ACA
is more or less directly understandable for most people.
Who has followed the discussion in this blog remembers several different phases in the conceptual frameworks used here.
The first paradigm called Human-Computer Interface (HCI) has been only mentioned by historical reasons. The next phase Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) was the main paradigm in the beginning of my lecturing in 2005. Later, somewhere 2011/2012, I switched to the paradigm Actor-Actor Interaction (AAI) because I tried to generalize over the different participating machines, robots, smart interfaces, humans as well as animals. This worked quite nice and some time I thought that this is now the final formula. But reality is often different compared to our thinking. Many occasions showed up where the generalization beyond the human actor seemed to hide the real processes which are going on, especially I got the impression that very important factors rooted in the special human actor became invisible although they are playing decisive role in many processes. Another punch against the AAI view came from application scenarios during the last year when I started to deal with whole cities as actors. At the end I got the feeling that the more specialized expressions like Actor-Cognition Interaction (ACI) or Augmented Collective Intelligence (ACI) can indeed help to stress certain special properties better than the more abstract AAI acronym, but using structures like ACI within general theories and within complex computing environments it became clear that the more abstract acronym AAI is in the end more versatile and simplifies the general structures. ACI became a special sub-case
To understand this oscillation between AAI and ACI one has to look back into the history of Human Computer/ Machine Interaction, but not only until the end of the World War II, but into the more extended evolutionary history of mankind on this planet.
It is a widespread opinion under the researchers that the development of tools to help mastering material processes was one of the outstanding events which changed the path of the evolution a lot. A next step was the development of tools to support human cognition like scripture, numbers, mathematics, books, libraries etc. In this last case of cognitive tools the material of the cognitive tools was not the primary subject the processes but the cognitive contents, structures, even processes encoded by the material structures of the tools.
Only slowly mankind understood how the cognitive abilities and capabilities are rooted in the body, in the brain, and that the brain represents a rather complex biological machinery which enables a huge amount of cognitive functions, often interacting with each other; these cognitive functions show in the light of observable behavior clear limits with regard to the amount of features which can be processed in some time interval, with regard to precision, with regard to working interconnections, and more. And therefore it has been understood that the different kinds of cognitive tools are very important to support human thinking and to enforce it in some ways.
Only in the 20th century mankind was able to built a cognitive tool called computer which could show capabilities which resembled some human cognitive capabilities and which even surpassed human capabilities in some limited areas. Since then these machines have developed a lot (not by themselves but by the thinking and the engineering of humans!) and meanwhile the number and variety of capabilities where the computer seems to resemble a human person or surpasses human capabilities have extend in a way that it has become a common slang to talk about intelligent machines or smart devices.
While the original intention for the development of computers was to improve the cognitive tools with the intend to support human beings one can get today the impression as if the computer has turned into a goal on its own: the intelligent and then — as supposed — the super-intelligent computer appears now as the primary goal and mankind appears as some old relic which has to be surpassed soon.
As will be shown later in this text this vision of the computer surpassing mankind has some assumptions which are
What seems possible and what seems to be a promising roadmap into the future is a continuous step-wise enhancement of the biological structure of mankind which absorbs the modern computing technology by new cognitive interfaces which in turn presuppose new types of physical interfaces.
To give a precise definition of these new upcoming structures and functions is not yet possible, but to identify the actual driving factors as well as the exciting combinations of factors seems possible.
COGNITION EMBEDDED IN MATTER
The main idea is the shift of the focus away from the physical grounding of the interaction between actors looking instead more to the cognitive contents and processes, which shall be mediated by the physical conditions. Clearly the analysis of the physical conditions as well as the optimal design of these physical conditions is still a challenge and a task, but without a clear knowledge manifested in a clear model about the intended cognitive contents and processes one has not enough knowledge for the design of the physical layout.
SOLVING A PROBLEM
Thus the starting point of an engineering process is a group of people (the stakeholders (SH)) which identify some problem (P) in their environment and which have some minimal idea of a possible solution (S) for this problem. This can be commented by some non-functional requirements (NFRs) articulating some more general properties which shall hold through the whole solution (e.g. ‘being save’, ‘being barrier-free’, ‘being real-time’ etc.). If the description of the problem with a first intended solution including the NFRs contains at least one task (T) to be solved, minimal intended users (U) (here called executive actors (eA)), minimal intended assistive actors (aA) to assist the user in doing the task, as well as a description of the environment of the task to do, then the minimal ACI-Check can be passed and the ACI analysis process can be started.
COGNITION AND AUGMENTED COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE
If we talk about cognition then we think usually about cognitive processes in an individual person. But in the real world there is no cognition without an ongoing exchange between different individuals by communicative acts. Furthermore it has to be taken into account that the cognition of an individual person is in itself partitioned into two unequal parts: the unconscious part which covers about 99% of all the processes in the body and in the brain and about 1% which covers the conscious part. That an individual person can think somehow something this person has to trigger his own unconsciousness by stimuli to respond with some messages from his before unknown knowledge. Thus even an individual person alone has to organize a communication with his own unconsciousness to be able to have some conscious knowledge about its own unconscious knowledge. And because no individual person has at a certain point of time a clear knowledge of his unconscious knowledge the person even does not really know what to look for — if there is no event, not perception, no question and the like which triggers the person to interact with its unconscious knowledge (and experience) to get some messages from this unconscious machinery, which — as it seems — is working all the time.
On account of this logic of the individual internal communication with the individual cognition an external communication with the world and the manifested cognition of other persons appears as a possible enrichment in the interactions with the distributed knowledge in the different persons. While in the following approach it is assumed to represent the different knowledge responses in a common symbolic representation viewable (and hearable) from all participating persons it is growing up a possible picture of something which is generally more rich, having more facets than a picture generated by an individual person alone. Furthermore can such a procedure help all participants to synchronize their different knowledge fragments in a bigger picture and use it further on as their own picture, which in turn can trigger even more aspects out of the distributed unconscious knowledge.
If one organizes this collective triggering of distributed unconscious knowledge within a communication process not only by static symbolic models but beyond this with dynamic rules for changes, which can be interactively simulated or even played with defined states of interest then the effect of expanding the explicit and shared knowledge will be boosted even more.
From this background it makes some sense to turn the wording Actor-Cognition Interaction into the wording Augmented Collective Intelligence where Intelligence is the component of dynamic cognition in a system — here a human person –, Collective means that different individual person are sharing their unconscious knowledge by communicative interactions, and Augmented can be interpreted that one enhances, extends this sharing of knowledge by using new tools of modeling, simulation and gaming, which expands and intensifies the individual learning as well as the commonly shared opinions. For nearly all problems today this appears to be absolutely necessary.
ACI ANALYSIS PROCESS
Here it will be assumed that there exists a group of ACI experts which can supervise other actors (stakeholders, domain experts, …) in a process to analyze the problem P with the explicit goal of finding a satisfying solution (S+).
For the whole ACI analysis process an appropriate ACI software should be available to support the ACI experts as well as all the other domain experts.
In this ACI analysis process one can distinguish two main phases: (1) Construct an actor story (AS) which describes all intended states and intended changes within the actor story. (2) Make several tests of the actor story to exploit their explanatory power.
ACTOR STORY (AS)
The actor story describes all possible states (S) of the tasks (T) to be realized to reach intended goal states (S+). A mapping from one state to a follow-up state will be described by a change rule (X). Thus having start state (S0) and appropriate change rules one can construct the follow-up states from the actual state (S*) with the aid of the change rules. Formally this computation of the follow-up state (S’) will be computed by a simulator function (σ), written as: σ: S* x X —> S.
With the aid of an explicit actor story (AS) one can define the non-functional requirements (NFRs) in a way that it will become decidable whether a NFR is valid with regard to an actor story or not. In this case this test of being valid can be done as an automated verification process (AVP). Part of this test paradigm is the so-called oracle function (OF) where one can pose a question to the system and the system will answer the question with regard to all theoretically possible states without the necessity to run a (passive) simulation.
If the size of the group is large and it is important that all members of the group have a sufficient similar knowledge about the problem(s) in question (as it is the usual case in a city with different kinds of citizens) then is can be very helpful to enable interactive simulations or even games, which allow a more direct experience of the possible states and changes. Furthermore, because the participants can act according to their individual reflections and goals the process becomes highly uncertain and nearly unpredictable. Especially for these highly unpredictable processes can interactive simulations (and games) help to improve a common understanding of the involved factors and their effects. The difference between a normal interactive simulation and a game is given in the fact that a game has explicit win-states whereas the interactive simulations doesn’t. Explicit win-states can improve learning a lot.
The other interesting question is whether an actor story AS with a certain idea for an assistive actor (aA) is usable for the executive actors. This requires explicit measurements of the usability which in turn requires a clear norm of reference with which the behavior of an executive actor (eA) during a process can be compared. Usually is the actor Story as such the norm of reference with which the observable behavior of the executing actors will be compared. Thus for the measurement one needs real executive actors which represent the intended executive actors and one needs a physical realization of the intended assistive actors called mock-up. A mock-up is not yet the final implementation of the intended assistive actor but a physical entity which can show all important physical properties of the intended assistive actor in a way which allows a real test run. While in the past it has been assumed to be sufficient to test a test person only once it is here assumed that a test person has to be tested at least three times. This follows from the assumption that every executive (biological) actor is inherently a learning system. This implies that the test person will behave differently in different tests. The degree of changes can be a hint of the easiness and the learnability of the assistive actor.
If an appropriate ACI software is available then one can consider an actor story as a simple theory (ST) embracing a model (M) and a collection of rules (R) — ST(x) iff x = <M,R> –which can be used as a kind of a building block which in turn can be combined with other such building blocks resulting in a complex network of simple theories. If these simple theories are stored in a public available data base (like a library of theories) then one can built up in time a large knowledge base on their own.
This suggests that a symbiosis between creative humans and computing algorithms is an attractive pairing. For this we have to re-invent our official learning processes in schools and universities to train the next generation of humans in a more inspired and creative usage of algorithms in a game-like learning processes.
The overall context is given by the description of the Actor-Actor Interaction (AAI) paradigm as a whole. In this text the special relationship between engineering and the surrounding society is in the focus. And within this very broad and rich relationship the main interest lies in the ethical dimension here understood as those preferences of a society which are more supported than others. It is assumed that such preferences manifesting themselves in real actions within a space of many other options are pointing to hidden values which guide the decisions of the members of a society. Thus values are hypothetical constructs based on observable actions within a cognitively assumed space of possible alternatives. These cognitively represented possibilities are usually only given in a mixture of explicitly stated symbolic statements and different unconscious factors which are influencing the decisions which are causing the observable actions.
These assumptions represent until today not a common opinion and are not condensed in some theoretical text. Nevertheless I am using these assumptions here because they help to shed some light on the rather complex process of finding a real solution to a stated problem which is rooted in the cognitive space of the participants of the engineering process. To work with these assumptions in concrete development processes can support a further clarification of all these concepts.
ENGINEERING AND SOCIETY
DUAL: REAL AND COGNITIVE
As assumed in the AAI paradigm the engineering process is that process which connects the event of stating aproblem combined with a first vision of a solution with a final concrete working solution.
The main characteristic of such an engineering process is the dual character of a continuous interaction between the cognitive space of all participants of the process with real world objects, actions, and processes. The real world as such is a lose collection of real things, to some extend connected by regularities inherent in natural things, but the visions of possible states, possible different connections, possible new processes is bound to the cognitive space of biological actors, especially to humans as exemplars of the homo sapiens species.
Thus it is a major factor of training, learning, and education in general to see how the real world can be mappedinto some cognitive structures, how the cognitive structures can be transformed by cognitive operations into new structures and how these new cognitive structures can be re-mapped into the real world of bodies.
Within the cognitive dimension exists nearly infinite sets of possible alternatives, which all indicate possible states of a world, whose feasibility is more or less convincing. Limited by time and resources it is usually not possible to explore all these cognitively tapped spaces whether and how they work, what are possible side effects etc.
Somehow by nature, somehow by past experience biological system — like the home sapiens — have developed cultural procedures to induce preferences how one selects possible options, which one should be selected, under which circumstances and with even more constraints. In some situations these preferences can be helpful, in others they can hide possibilities which afterwards can be re-detected as being very valuable.
Thus every engineering process which starts a transformation process from some cognitively given point of view to a new cognitively point of view with a following up translation into some real thing is sharing its cognitive spacewith possible preferences of the cognitive space of the surrounding society.
It is an open case whether the engineers as the experts have an experimental, creative attitude to explore without dogmatic constraints the possible cognitive spaces to find new solutions which can improve life or not. If one assumes that there exist no absolute preferences on account of the substantially limit knowledge of mankind at every point of time and inferring from this fact the necessity to extend an actual knowledge further to enable the mastering of an open unknown future then the engineers will try to explore seriously all possibilities without constraints to extend the power of engineering deeper into the heart of the known as well as unknown universe.
EXPLORING COGNITIVE POSSIBILITIES
At the start one has only a rough description of the problem and a rough vision of a wanted solution which gives some direction for the search of an optimal solution. This direction represents also a kind of a preference what is wanted as the outcome of the process.
On account of the inherent duality of human thinking and communication embracing the cognitive space as well as the realm of real things which both are connected by complex mappings realized by the brain which operates nearly completely unconscious a long process of concrete real and cognitive actions is necessary to materialize cognitive realities within a communication process. Main modes of materialization are the usage of symbolic languages, paintings (diagrams), physical models, algorithms for computation and simulations, and especially gaming (in several different modes).
As everybody can know these communication processes are not simple, can be a source of confusions, and the coordination of different brains with different cognitive spaces as well as different layouts of unconscious factors is a difficult and very demanding endeavor.
The communication mode gaming is of a special interest here because it is one of the oldest and most natural modes to learn but in the official education processes in schools and universities (and in companies) it was until recently not part of the official curricula. But it is the only mode where one can exercise the dimensions of preferences explicitly in combination with an exploring process and — if one wants — with the explicit social dimension of having more than one brain involved.
In the last about 50 – 100 years the term project has gained more and more acceptance and indeed the organization of projects resembles a game but it is usually handled as a hierarchical, constraints-driven process where creativity and concurrent developing (= gaming) is not a main topic. Even if companies allow concurrent development teams these teams are cognitively separated and the implicit cognitive structures are black boxes which can not be evaluated as such.
In the presupposed AAI paradigm here the open creative space has a high priority to increase the chance for innovation. Innovation is the most valuable property in face of an unknown future!
While the open space for a real creativity has to be executed in all the mentioned modes of communication the final gaming mode is of special importance. To enable a gaming process one has explicitly to define explicit win-lose states. This objectifies values/ preferences hidden in the cognitive space before. Such an objectification makes things transparent, enables more rationality and allows the explicit testing of these defined win-lose states as feasible or not. Only tested hypothesis represent tested empirical knowledge. And because in a gaming mode whole groups or even all members of a social network can participate in a learning process of the functioning and possible outcome of a presented solution everybody can be included. This implies a common sharing of experience and knowledge which simplifies the communication and therefore the coordination of the different brains with their unconsciousness a lot.
TESTING AND EVALUATION
Testing a proposed solution is another expression for measuring the solution. Measuring is understood here as a basic comparison between the target to be measured (here the proposed solution) and the before agreednorm which shall be used as point of reference for the comparison.
But what can be a before agreed norm?
Some aspects can be mentioned here:
First of all there is the proposed solution as such, which is here a proposal for a possible assistive actor in an assumed environment for some intended executive actors which has to fulfill some job (task).
Part of this proposed solution are given constraints and non-functional requirements.
Part of this proposed solution are some preferences as win-lose states which have to be reached.
Another difficult to define factor are the executive actors if they are biological systems. Biological systems with their basic built in ability to act free, to be learning systems, and this associated with a not-definable large unconscious realm.
Given the explicit preferences constrained by many assumptions one can test only, whether the invited test persons understood as possible instances of the intended executive actors are able to fulfill the defined task(s) in some predefined amount of time within an allowed threshold of making errors with an expected percentage of solved sub-tasks together with a sufficient subjective satisfaction with the whole process.
But because biological executive actors are learning systems they will behave in different repeated tests differently, they can furthermore change their motivations and their interests, they can change their emotional commitment, and because of their built-in basic freedom to act there can be no 100% probability that they will act at time t as they have acted all the time before.
Thus for all kinds of jobs where the process is more or less fixed, where nothing new will happen, the participation of biological executive actors in such a process is questionable. It seems (hypothesis), that biological executing actors are better placed in jobs where there is some minimal rate of curiosity, of innovation, and of creativity combined with learning.
If this hypothesis is empirically sound (as it seems), then all jobs where human persons are involved should have more the character of games then something else.
It is an interesting side note that the actual research in robotics under the label of developmental robotics is struck by the problem how one can make robots continuously learning following interesting preferences. Given a preference an algorithm can work — under certain circumstances — often better than a human person to find an optimal solution, but lacking such a preference the algorithm is lost. And actually there exists not the faintest idea how algorithms should acquire that kind of preferences which are interesting and important for an unknown future.
On the contrary, humans are known to be creative, innovative, detecting new preferences etc. but they have only limited capacities to explore these creative findings until some telling endpoint.
This suggests that a symbiosis between creative humans and computing algorithms is an attractive pairing. For this we have to re-invent our official learning processes in schools and universities to train the next generation of humans in a more inspired and creative usage of algorithms in a game-like learning processes.
Last change: 28.February 2019 (Several corrections)
An overview to the enhanced AAI theory version 2 you can find here. In this post we talk about the special topic how to proceed in a bottom-up approach.
BOTTOM-UP: THE GENERAL BLUEPRINT
As the introductory figure shows it is assumed here that there is a collection of citizens and experts which offer their individual knowledge, experiences, and skills to ‘put them on the table’ challenged by a given problem P.
This knowledge is in the beginning not structured. The first step in the direction of an actor story (AS) is to analyze the different contributions in a way which shows distinguishable elements with properties and relations. Such a set of first ‘objects’ and ‘relations’ characterizes a set of facts which define a ‘situation’ or a ‘state’ as a collection of ‘facts’. Such a situation/ state can also be understood as a first simple ‘model‘ as response to a given problem. A model is as such ‘static‘; it describes what ‘is’ at a certain point of ‘time’.
In a next step the group has to identify possible ‘changes‘ which can be associated with at least one fact. There can be many possible changes which eventually need different durations to come into effect. These effects can happen as ‘exclusive alternatives’ or in ‘parallel’. Apply the possible changes to a situation generates ‘successors’ to the actual situation. A sequence of situations generated by applied changes is usually called a ‘simulation‘.
If one allows the interaction between real actors with a simulation by associating a real actor to one of the actors ‘inside the simulation’ one is turning the simulation into an ‘interactive simulation‘ which represents basically a ‘computer game‘ (short: ‘egame‘).
One can use interactive simulations e.g. to (i) learn about the dynamics of a model, to (ii) test the assumptions of a model, to (iii) test the knowledge and skills of the real actors.
Making new experiences with a simulation allows a continuous improvement of the model and its change rules.
Additionally one can include more citizens and experts into this process and one can use available knowledge from databases and libraries.
EPISTEMOLOGY OF CONCEPTS
As outlined in the preceding section about the blueprint of a bottom-up process there will be a heavy usage of concepts to describe state of affairs.
The literature about this topic in philosophy as well as many scientific disciplines is overwhelmingly and therefore this small text here can only be a ‘pointer’ into a complex topic. Nevertheless I will use exactly this pointer to explore this topic further.
While the literature is mainly dealing with more or less specific partial models, I am trying here to point out a very general framework which fits to a more genera philosophical — especially epistemological — view as well as gives respect to many results of scientific disciplines.
The main dimensions here are (i) the outside external empirical world, which connects via sensors to the (ii) internal body, especially the brain, which works largely ‘unconscious‘, and then (iii) the ‘conscious‘ part of he brain.
The most important relationship between the ‘conscious’ and the ‘unconscious’ part of the brain is the ability of the unconscious brain to transform automatically incoming concrete sens-experiences into more ‘abstract’ structures, which have at least three sub-dimensions: (i) different concrete material, (ii) a sub-set of extracted common properties, (iii) different sets of occurring contexts associated with the different subsets. This enables the brain to extract only a ‘few’ abstract structures (= abstract concepts) to deal with ‘many’ concrete events. Thus the abstract concept ‘chair’ can cover many different concrete chairs which have only a few properties in common. Additionally the chairs can occur in different ‘contexts’ associating them with different ‘relations’ which can specify possible different ‘usages’ of the concept ‘chair’.
Thus, if the actor perceives something which ‘matches’ some ‘known’ concept then the actor is not only conscious about the empirical concrete phenomenon but also simultaneously about the abstract concept which will automatically be activated. ‘Immediately’ the actor ‘knows’ that this empirical something is e.g. a ‘chair’. Concrete: this concrete something is matching an abstract concept ‘chair’ which can as such cover many other concrete things too which can be as concrete somethings partially different from another concrete something.
From this follows an interesting side effect: while an actor can easily decide, whether a concrete something is there (“it is the case, that” = “it is true”) or not (“it is not the case, that” = “it isnot true” = “it is false”), an actor can not directly decide whether an abstract concept like ‘chair’ as such is ‘true’ in the sense, that the concept ‘as a whole’ corresponds to concrete empirical occurrences. This depends from the fact that an abstract concept like ‘chair’ can match with a nearly infinite set of possible concrete somethings which are called ‘possible instances’ of the abstract concept. But a human actor can directly ‘check’ only a ‘few’ concrete somethings. Therefore the usage of abstract concepts like ‘chair’, ‘house’, ‘bottle’ etc. implies inherently an ‘open set’ of ‘possible’ concrete exemplars and therefor is the usage of such concepts necessarily a ‘hypothetical’ usage. Because we can ‘in principle’ check the real extensions of these abstract concepts in everyday life as long there is the ‘freedom’ to do such checks, we are losing the ‘truth’ of our concepts and thereby the basis for a realistic cooperation, if this ‘freedom of checking’ is not possible.
If some incoming perception is ‘not yet known’, because nothing given in the unconsciousness does ‘match’, it is in a basic sens ‘new’ and the brain will automatically generate a ‘new concept’.
THE DIMENSION OF MEANING
In Figure 2 one can find two other components: the ‘meaning relation’ which maps concepts into ‘language expression’.
Language expressions inside the brain correspond to a diversity of visual, auditory, tactile or other empirical event sequences, which are in use for communicative acts.
These language expressions are usually not ‘isolated structures’ but are embedded in relations which map the expression structures to conceptual structures including the different substantiations of the abstract concepts and the associated contexts. By these relations the expressions are attached to the conceptual structures which are called the ‘meaning‘ of the expressions and vice versa the expressions are called the ‘language articulation’ of the meaning structures.
As far as conceptual structures are related via meaning relations to language expressions then a perception can automatically cause the ‘activation’ of the associated language expressions, which in turn can be uttered in some way. But conceptual structures can exist (especially with children) without an available meaning relation.
When language expressions are used within a communicative act then their usage can activate in all participants of the communication the ‘learned’ concepts as their intended meanings. Heaving the meaning activated in someones ‘consciousness’ this is a real phenomenon for that actor. But from the occurrence of concepts alone does not automatically follow, that a concept is ‘backed up’ by some ‘real matter’ in the external world. Someone can utter that it is raining, in the hearer of this utterance the intended concepts can become activated, but in the outside external world no rain is happening. In this case one has to state that the utterance of the language expressions “Look, its raining” has no counterpart in the real world, therefore we call the utterance in this case ‘false‘ or ‘not true‘.
THE DIMENSION OF TIME
The preceding figure 2 of the conceptual space is not yet complete. There is another important dimension based on the ability of the unconscious brain to ‘store’ certain structures in a ‘timely order’ which enables an actor — under certain conditions ! — to decide whether a certain structure X occurred in the consciousness ‘before’ or ‘after’ or ‘at the same time’ as another structure Y.
Evidently the unconscious brain is able do exactly this: (i) it can arrange the different structures under certain conditions in a ‘timely order’; (ii) it can detect ‘differences‘ between timely succeeding structures; the brain (iii) can conceptualize these changes as ‘change concepts‘ (‘rules of change’), and it can can classify different kinds of change like ‘deterministic’, ‘non-deterministic’ with different kinds of probabilities, as well as ‘arbitrary’ as in the case of ‘free learning systems‘. Free learning systems are able to behave in a ‘deterministic-like manner’, but they can also change their patterns on account of internal learning and decision processes in nearly any direction.
Based on memories of conceptual structures and derived change concepts (rules of change) the unconscious brain is able to generate different kinds of ‘possible configurations’, whose quality is depending from the degree of dependencies within the ‘generating criteria’: (i) no special restrictions; (ii) empirical restrictions; (iii) empirical restrictions for ‘upcoming states’ (if all drinkable water would be consumed, then one cannot plan any further with drinkable water).
The last official update of the AAI theory dates back to Oct-2, 2018. Since that time many new thoughts have been detected and have been configured for further extensions and improvements. Here I try to give an overview of all the actual known aspects of the expanded AAI theory as a possible guide for the further elaborations of the main text.
CLARIFYING THE PROBLEM
Generally it is assumed that the AAI theory is embedded in a general systems engineering approach starting with the clarification of a problem.
Two cases will be distinguished:
A stakeholder is associated with a certain domain of affairs with some prominent aspect/ parameter P and the stakeholder wants to clarify whether P poses some ‘problem’ in this domain. This presupposes some explained ‘expectations’ E how it should be and some ‘findings’ x pointing to the fact that P is ‘sufficiently different’ from some y>x. If the stakeholder judges that this difference is ‘important’, than P matching x will be classified as a problem, which will be documented in a ‘problem document D_p’. One interpret this this analysis as a ‘measurement M’ written as M(P,E) = x and x<y.
Given a problem document D_p a stakeholder invites some experts to find a ‘solution’ which transfers the old ‘problem P’ into a ‘configuration S’ which at least should ‘minimize the problem P’. Thus there must exist some ‘measurements’ of the given problem P with regard to certain ‘expectations E’ functioning as a ‘norm’ as M(P,E)=x and some measurements of the new configuration S with regard to the same expectations E as M(S,E)=y and a metric which allows the judgment y > x.
From this follows that already in the beginning of the analysis of a possible solution one has to refer to some measurement process M, otherwise there exists no problem P.
CHECK OF FRAMING CONDITIONS
The definition of a problem P presupposes a domain of affairs which has to be characterized in at least two respects:
A minimal description of an environment ENV of the problem P and
a list of so-called non-functional requirements (NFRs).
Within the environment it mus be possible to identify at least one task T to be realized from some start state to some end state.
Additionally it mus be possible to identify at least one executing actor A_exec doing this task and at least one actor assisting A_ass the executing actor to fulfill the task.
For the following analysis of a possible solution one can distinguish two strategies:
Top-down: There exists a group of experts EXPs which will analyze a possible solution, will test these, and then will propose these as a solution for others.
Bottom-up: There exists a group of experts EXPs too but additionally there exists a group of customers CTMs which will be guided by the experts to use their own experience to find a possible solution.
ACTOR STORY (AS)
The goal of an actor story (AS) is a full specification of all identified necessary tasks T which lead from a start state q* to a goal state q+, including all possible and necessary changes between the different states M.
A state is here considered as a finite set of facts (F) which are structured as an expression from some language L distinguishing names of objects (LIKE ‘d1’, ‘u1’, …) as well as properties of objects (like ‘being open’, ‘being green’, …) or relations between objects (like ‘the user stands before the door’). There can also e a ‘negation’ like ‘the door is not open’. Thus a collection of facts like ‘There is a door D1’ and ‘The door D1 is open’ can represent a state.
Changes from one state q to another successor state q’ are described by the object whose action deletes previous facts or creates new facts.
In this approach at least three different modes of an actor story will be distinguished:
A pictorial mode generating a Pictorial Actor Story (PAS). In a pictorial mode the drawings represent the main objects with their properties and relations in an explicit visual way (like a Comic Strip).
A textual mode generating a Textual Actor Story (TAS): In a textual mode a text in some everyday language (e.g. in English) describes the states and changes in plain English. Because in the case of a written text the meaning of the symbols is hidden in the heads of the writers it can be of help to parallelize the written text with the pictorial mode.
A mathematical mode generating a Mathematical Actor Story (MAS): n the mathematical mode the pictorial and the textual modes are translated into sets of formal expressions forming a graph whose nodes are sets of facts and whose edges are labeled with change-expressions.
TASK INDUCED ACTOR-REQUIREMENTS (TAR)
If an actor story AS is completed, then one can infer from this story all the requirements which are directed at the executing as well as the assistive actors of the story. These requirements are targeting the needed input- as well as output-behavior of the actors from a 3rd person point of view (e.g. what kinds of perception are required, what kinds of motor reactions, etc.).
ACTOR INDUCED ACTOR-REQUIREMENTS (AAR)
Depending from the kinds of actors planned for the real work (biological systems, animals or humans; machines, different kinds of robots), one has to analyze the required internal structures of the actors needed to enable the required perceptions and responses. This has to be done in a 1st person point of view.
ACTOR MODELS (AMs)
Based on the AARs one has to construct explicit actor models which are fulfilling the requirements.
USABILITY TESTING (UTST)
Using the actor as a ‘norm’ for the measurement one has to organized an ‘usability test’ in he way, that a real executing test actor having the required profiles has to use a real assisting actor in the context of the specified actor story. Place in a start state of the actor story the executing test actor has to show that and how he will reach the defined goal state of the actor story. For this he has to use a real assistive actor which usually is an experimental device (a mock-up), which allows the test of the story.
Because an executive actor is usually a ‘learning actor’ one has to repeat the usability test n-times to see, whether the learning curve approaches a minimum. Additionally to such objective tests one should also organize an interview to get some judgments about the subjective states of the test persons.
With an increasing complexity of an actor story AS it becomes important to built a simulator (SIM) which can take as input the start state of the actor story together with all possible changes. Then the simulator can compute — beginning with the start state — all possible successor states. In the interactive mode participating actors will explicitly be asked to interact with the simulator.
Having a simulator one can use a simulator as part of an usability test to mimic the behavior of an assistive actor. This mode can also be used for training new executive actors.
A TOP-DOWN ACTOR STORY
The elaboration of an actor story will usually be realized in a top-down style: some AAI experts will develop the actor story based on their experience and will only ask for some test persons if they have elaborated everything so far that they can define some tests.
A BOTTOM-UP ACTOR STORY
In a bottom-up style the AAI experts collaborate from the beginning with a group of common users from the application domain. To do this they will (i) extract the knowledge which is distributed in the different users, then (ii) they will start some modeling from these different facts to (iii) enable some basic simulations. This simple simulation (iv) will be enhanced to an interactive simulation which allows serious gaming either (iv.a) to test the model or to enable the users (iv.b) to learn the space of possible states. The test case will (v) generate some data which can be used to evaluate the model with regard to pre-defined goals. Depending from these findings (vi) one can try to improve the model further.
THE COGNITIVE SPACE
To be able to construct executive as well as assistive actors which are close to the way how human persons do communicate one has to set up actor models which are as close as possible with the human style of cognition. This requires the analysis of phenomenal experience as well as the psychological behavior as well as the analysis of a needed neuron-physiological structures.
To model in an actor story the possible changes from one given state to another one (or to many successor states) one needs eventually besides explicit deterministic changes different kinds of random rules together with adaptive ones or decision-based behavior depending from a whole network of changing parameters.
The online-book project published on the uffmm.org website has to be seen within a bigger idea which can be named ‘The better world project’.
As outlined in the figure above you can see that the AAIwSE theory is the nucleus of a project which intends to enable a global learning space which connects individual persons as well as schools, universities, cities as well as companies, and even more if wanted.
There are other ideas around using the concept ‘better world’, butt these other concepts are targeting other subjects. In this view here the engineering perspective is laying the ground to build new more effective systems to enhance all aspects of life.
As you already can detect in the AAAIwSE theory published so far there exists a new and enlarged vision of the acting persons, the engineers as the great artists of the real world. Taking this view seriously there will be a need for a new kind of spirituality too which is enabling the acting persons to do all this with a vital interest in the future of life in the universe.
Actually the following websites are directly involved in the ‘Better World Project Idea’: this site ‘uffmm.org’ (in English) and (in German) ‘cognitiveagent.org‘ and ‘Kommunalpolitik & eGaming‘. The last link points to an official project of the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FRA-UAS) which will apply the AAI-Methods to all communities in Germany (about 11.000).
Update 20.July 2018 (Disentanglement of chapter ‘Simulation & Verification’ into two independent chapters; corrections in the chapter ‘Introduction’; corrections in chapter ‘AAI Analysis’; extracting ‘Simulation’ from chapter ‘Actor Story’ to new chapter ‘Simulation’; New chapter ‘Simulation’; Rewriting of chapter ‘Looking Forward’)
Update 22.July 2018 (Rewriting the beginning of the chapter ‘Actor Story (AS)’, not completed; converting chapter ‘AS+AM Summary’ to ‘AS and AM Philosophy’, not completed)
Update 23.July 2018 (Attaching a new chapter with a Case Study illustrating an actor story (AS). This case study is still unfinished. It is a case study of a real project!)
Update 8.August 2018 (Modifying chapter AS as Text, Comic, Graph; especially section about the textual mode and the pictorial mode; first sketch for a mapping from the textual mode into the pictorial mode)
Update 13.August 2018 (I am still catched by the chapters 3+4. In chapter the cognitive structure of the actors has been further enhanced; in chapter 4 a complete example of a mathematical actor story could now been attached.)
Update 14.August 2018 (minor corrections to chapter 4 + 5; change-statements define for each state individual combinatorial spaces (a little bit like a quantum state); whether and how these spaces will be concretized/ realized depends completely from the participating actors)
Update 15.August 2018 (Canceled the appendix with the case study stub and replaced it with an overview for a supporting software tool which is needed for the real usage of this theory. At the moment it is open who will write the software.)
Update 2.October 2018 (Configuring the whole book now with 3 parts: I. Theory, II. Application, III. Software. Gerd has his focus on part I, Zeynep will focus on part II and ‘somebody’ will focus on part III (in the worst case we will — nevertheless — have a minimal version :-)). For a first quick overview about everything read the ‘Preface’ and the ‘Introduction’.
Update 4.November 2018 (Rewriting the Introduction (and some minor corrections in the Preface). The idea of the rewriting was to address all the topics which will be discussed in the book and pointing out to the logical connections between them. This induces some wrong links in the following chapters, which are not yet updated. Some chapters are yet completely missing. But to improve the clearness of the focus and the logical inter-dependencies helps to elaborate the missing texts a lot. Another change is the wording of the title. Until now it is difficult to find a title which is exactly matching the content. The new proposal shows the focus ‘AAI’ but lists the keywords of the main topics within AAA analysis because these topics are usually not necessarily associated with AAI.)
ACTOR-ACTOR INTERACTION [AAI]. An Actor Centered Approach to Problem Solving. Combining Engineering and Philosophy
GERD DOEBEN-HENISCH in cooperation with LOUWRENCE ERASMUS, ZEYNEP TUNCER
PRE-VIEW: NEW EXPANDED AAI THEORY 23.January 2019: Outline of the new expanded AAI Paradigm. Before re-writing the main text with these ideas the new advanced AAI theory will first be tested during the summer 2019 within a lecture with student teams as well as in several workshops outside the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences with members of different institutions.
1 History: From HCI to AAI …
2 Different Views …
3 Philosophy of the AAI-Expert …
4 Problem (Document) …
5 Check for Analysis …
6 AAI-Analysis …
6.1 Actor Story (AS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.1 Textual Actor Story (TAS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.2 Pictorial Actor Story (PAT) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.3 Mathematical Actor Story (MAS) . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.4 Simulated Actor Story (SAS) . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.5 Task Induced Actor Requirements (TAR) . . . . . . .
6.1.6 Actor Induced Actor Requirements (UAR) . . . . . .
6.1.7 Interface-Requirements and Interface-Design . . . .
6.2 Actor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.1 Actor and Actor Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.2 Actor Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.3 Actor as Input-Output System . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.4 Learning Input-Output Systems . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.5 General AM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.6 Sound Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.7 Special AM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.8 Hypothetical Model of a User – The GOMS Paradigm
6.2.9 Example: An Electronically Locked Door . . . . . . .
6.2.10 A GOMS Model Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.11 Further Extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.12 Design Principles; Interface Design . . . . . . . . .
6.3 Simulation of Actor Models (AMs) within an Actor Story (AS) .
6.4 Assistive Actor-Demonstrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.5 Approaching an Optimum Result . . . . .
7 What Comes Next: The Real System
7.1 Logical Design, Implementation, Validation . . . .
7.2 Conceptual Gap In Systems Engineering? . . .
8 The AASE-Paradigm …
This text is based on the the paper “AAI – Actor-Actor Interaction. A Philosophy of Science View” from 3.Oct.2017 and version 11 of the paper “AAI – Actor-Actor Interaction. An Example Template” and it transforms these views in the new paradigm ‘Actor- Actor Systems Engineering’ understood as a theory as well as a paradigm for and infinite set of applications. In analogy to the slogan ’Object-Oriented Software Engineering (OO SWE)’ one can understand the new acronym AASE as a systems engineering approach where the actor-actor interactions are the base concepts for the whole engineering process. Furthermore it is a clear intention to view the topic AASE explicitly from the point of view of a theory (as understood in Philosophy of Science) as well as from the point of view of possible applications (as understood in systems engineering). Thus the classical term of Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) or even the older Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is now embedded within the new AASE approach. The same holds for the fuzzy discipline of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or the subset of AI called Machine Learning (ML). Although the AASE-approach is completely in its beginning one can already see how powerful this new conceptual framework is.
1 Problem ….. 3
2 AAI-Check ….. 3
3 Actor-Story (AS) ….. 3
3.1 AS as a Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
3.2 Translation of a Textual AS into a Formal AS …… 4
3.3 AS as a Formal Expression . . . . . . . . . .4
3.4 Translation of a Formal AS into a Pictorial AS… 5
4 Actor-Model (AM) ….. 5
4.1 AM for the User as a Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
4.2 AM for the System as a Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5 Combined AS and AM as a Text ….. 6
5.1 AM as an Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
6 Simulation ….. 7
6.1 Simulating the AS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
6.2 Simulating the AM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
6.3 Simulating AS with AM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7 Appendix: Formalisms ….. 8
7.1 Set of Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
7.2 Predicate Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
8 Appendix: The Meaning of Expressions …11
8.1 States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
8.2 Changes by Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Following the general concepts of the paper ’AAI – Actor-Actor Interaction. A Philosophy of Science View’ from 3.Oct.2017 this paper illustrates a simple application where the difference as well as the
interaction between an actor story and several actor models is shown. The details of interface-design as well as the usability-testing are not part of this example.(This example replaces the paper with the title
’AAI – Case Study Actor Story with Actor Model. Simple Grid-Environment’ from 15.Nov.2017). One special point is the meaning of the formal expressions of the actor story.
Clearly, one can debate whether a ‘toy-example’ makes sens, but the complexity of the concepts in this AAI-approach is to great to illustrate these in the beginning with a realistic example without loosing the idea. The author of the paper has tried many — also very advanced — versions in the last years and this is the first time that he himself has the feeling that at least the idea is now clear enough. And from teaching students it is very clear, if you cannot explain an idea in a toy-example you never will be able to apply it to real big problems…
On the cover page of this blog you find a first general view on the subject matter of an integrated engineering approach for the future. Here we give a short description of the main idea of the analysis phase of systems engineering how this will be realized within the actor-actor interaction paradigm as described in this text.
As you can see in figure Nr.1 there are the following main topics within the Actor-Actor Interaction (AAI) paradigm as used in this text (Comment: The more traditional formula is known as Human-Machine Interaction (HMI)):
Triggered by a problem document D_p from the problem phase (P) of the engineering process the AAI-experts have to analyze, what are the potential requirements following from this document, all the time also communicating with the stakeholder to keep in touch with the hidden intentions of the stakeholder.
The idea is to identify at least one task (T) with at least one goal state (G) which shall be arrived after running a task.
A task is assumed to represent a sequence of states (at least a start state and a goal state) which can have more than one option in every state, not excluding repetitions.
Every task presupposes some context (C) which gives the environment for the task.
The number of tasks and their length is in principle not limited, but their can be certain constraints (CS) given which have to be fulfilled required by the stakeholder or by some other important rules/ laws. Such constraints will probably limit the number of tasks as well as their length.
Every task as a sequence of states can be viewed as a story which describes a process. A story is a text (TXT) which is static and hides the implicit meaning in the brains of the participating actors. Only if an actor has some (learned) understanding of the used language then the actor is able to translate the perceptions of the process in an appropriate text and vice versa the text into corresponding perceptions or equivalently ‘thoughts’ representing the perceptions.
In this text it is assumed that a story is describing only the observable behavior of the participating actors, not their possible internal states (IS). For to describe the internal states (IS) it is further assumed that one describes the internal states in a new text called actor model (AM). The usual story is called an actor story (AS). Thus the actor story (AS) is the environment for the actor models (AM).
In this text three main modes of actor stories are distinguished:
An actor story written in some everyday language L_0 called AS_L0 .
A translation of the everyday language L_0 into a mathematical language L_math which can represent graphs, called AS_Lmath.
A translation of the hidden meaning which resides in the brains of the AAI-experts into a pictorial language L_pict (like a comic strip), called AS_Lpict.
To make the relationship between the graph-version AS_Lmath and the pictorial version AS_Lpict visible one needs an explicit mapping Int from one version into the other one, like: Int : AS_Lmath <—> AS_Lpict. This mapping Int works like a lexicon from one language into another one.
From a philosophy of science point of view one has to consider that the different kinds of actor stories have a meaning which is rooted in the intended processes assumed to be necessary for the realization of the different tasks. The processes as such are dynamic, but the stories as such are static. Thus a stakeholder (SH) or an AAI-expert who wants to get some understanding of the intended processes has to rely on his internal brain simulations associated with the meaning of these stories. Because every actor has its own internal simulation which can not be perceived from the other actors there is some probability that the simulations of the different actors can be different. This can cause misunderstandings, errors, and frustrations.(Comment: This problem has been discussed in [DHW07])
One remedy to minimize such errors is the construction of automata (AT) derived from the math mode AS_Lmath of the actor stories. Because the math mode represents a graph one can derive Der from this version directly (and automatically) the description of an automaton which can completely simulate the actor story, thus one can assume Der(AS_Lmath) = AT_AS_Lmath.
But, from the point of view of Philosophy of science this derived automaton AT_AS_Lmath is still only a static text. This text describes the potential behavior of an automaton AT. Taking a real computer (COMP) one can feed this real computer with the description of the automaton AT AT_AS_Lmath and make the real computer behave like the described automaton. If we did this then we have a real simulation (SIM) of the theoretical behavior of the theoretical automaton AT realized by the real computer COMP. Thus we have SIM = COMP(AT_AS_Lmath). (Comment: These ideas have been discussed in [EDH11].)
Such a real simulation is dynamic and visible for everybody. All participating actors can see the same simulation and if there is some deviation from the intention of the stakeholder then this can become perceivable for everybody immediately.
As mentioned above the actor story (AS) describes only the observable behavior of some actor, but not possible internal states (IS) which could be responsible for the observable behavior.
If necessary it is possible to define for every actor an individual actor model; indeed one can define more than one model to explore the possibilities of different internal structures to enable a certain behavior.
The general pattern of actor models follows in this text the concept of input-output systems (IOSYS), which are in principle able to learn. What the term ‘learning’ designates concretely will be explained in later sections. The same holds of the term ‘intelligent’ and ‘intelligence’.
The basic assumptions about input-output systems used here reads a follows:
Def: Input-Output System (IOSYS)
IOSYS(x) iff x=< I, O, IS, phi>
phi : I x IS —> IS x O
I := Input
O := Output
IS := Internal
As in the case of the actor story (AS) the primary descriptions of actor models (AM) are static texts. To make the hidden meanings of these descriptions ‘explicit’, ‘visible’ one has again to convert the static texts into descriptions of automata, which can be feed into real computers which in turn then simulate the behavior of these theoretical automata as a real process.
Combining the real simulation of an actor story with the real simulations of all the participating actors described in the actor models can show a dynamic, impressive process which is full visible to all collaborating stakeholders and AAI-experts.
Having all actor stories and actor models at hand, ideally implemented as real simulations, one has to test the interaction of the elaborated actors with real actors, which are intended to work within these explorative stories and models. This is done by actor tests (former: usability tests) where (i) real actors are confronted with real tasks and have to perform in the intended way; (ii) real actors are interviewed with questionnaires about their subjective feelings during their task completion.
Every such test will yield some new insights how to change the settings a bit to gain eventually some improvements. Repeating these cycles of designing, testing, and modifying can generate a finite set of test-results T where possibly one subset is the ‘best’ compared to all the others. This can give some security that this design is probably the ‘relative best design’ with regards to T.
[DHW07] G. Doeben-Henisch and M. Wagner. Validation within safety critical systems engineering from a computation semiotics point of view.
Proceedings of the IEEE Africon2007 Conference, pages Pages: 1 – 7, 2007.
[EDH11] Louwrence Erasmus and Gerd Doeben-Henisch. A theory of the
system engineering process. In ISEM 2011 International Conference. IEEE, 2011.