Twenty-fourth Annual ACT-R Workshop

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A one-day ACT-R Workshop took place at University College London on July 26, 2017.


The purpose of the workshop is to discuss issues of interest to the ACT-R community, including but not limited to new architectural modifications and developments, modeling and methodology discussions, scaling and efficiency issues, and ideas for applications and expansion.


2017 ACT-R Workshop Schedule


9:00 – 9:30              Registration


9:30 – 11:00          Big Data Session

Robert L. West      New Data Sources: Apps, Online Games, and Literature

Matthew Kelly       Using Distributional Semantics Techniques with ACT-R to Handle Corpora and Other Large Datasets

David Reitter         Cracking Language with ACT-R:  The Case for Big Data


11:00 – 12:30        Open Learning Session

Chris Dancy           Project Malmo as a Cognitive Modeling Environment

Bill Kennedy          Learning Political Bias with Exposure to Fake News

Ion Juvina             Modeling Core Affect in ACT-R


12:30 – 1:30            Lunch


1:30 – 3:30            Future Goals Session

John Anderson      Video Games Require a Metacognitive Module

Christian Lebiere   A Standard Model of the Mind

Dario Salvucci        Expanding the Reach of Cognitive Architectures

Niels Taatgen        Maybe 640k Is Not Good Enough Anymore: How To Take ACT-R to the Next Level?


3:30 – 4:00              Coffee Break


4:00 – 6:00             Future of ACT-R Session

Dan Bothell            ACT-R Updates

Everyone               Open-Ended Discussion

Twenty-Third Annual Post-Graduate Summer School

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ACT-R 2016 Post-Graduate Summer School

John R. Anderson and Christian Lebiere

Psychology Department, Carnegie Mellon University


Attendees of the 2016 ACT-R Post-Graduate Summer School from left to right (and front to back when one directly behind the other): Marc Halbrügge, Niels Taatgen, Robert Thomson, Christopher Stevens, Dan Bothell, Jelmer Borst, Wayne Gray, David Peebles, Michael Martin, David Reitter, Christian Lebiere, John Anderson, Andrea Stocco, Burcu Arslan, Michael Collins, Othalia Larue, Trudy Buwalda, Robert West, Qiong Zhang, Cvetomir Dimov, Bella Veksler, Troy Kelley, Glenn Gunzelmann, Matthew Kelly, Kevin Gluck, Ion Juvina, Farnaz Tehranchi, Vladislav Veksler, Frank Ritter, Cleotilde Gonzalez, Lael Schooler, Bill Kennedy, Harmen de Weerd.


The 2016 ACT-R Post Graduate Summer School took place from August 7 to 9, 2016 at the Cork Factory Hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Abstracts from the talks are provided below, and the slides from many are linked from the title.



Jelmer Borst (Groningen) – ACT-R and Neuroscience Revisited: What Did We Learn from EEG and MEG?

Since the early 2000s, we have been using fMRI as a means of informing ACT-R models. As a direct result, the imaginal buffer was introduced to the architecture. After the mapping between ACT-R modules and brain regions became more established, fMRI could also be used as a means of testing and constraining ACT-R models, in some cases requiring a significant redevelopment of models. The drawback of fMRI is its low temporal resolution. To approach the level of temporal detail of ACT-R operations, we have recently turned to EEG and MEG, which provide data at a millisecond-resolution. These experiments have provided evidence for additional processes in the standard fan-experiment: a familiarity process and a more involved decision process. In this talk I will discuss whether these results should lead to changes to the architecture or only to updates of existing models.


Daniel Cassenti (ARL) – Evoked Response Potential Latency Modeling and Production Time Prediction

Although a cognitive process is typically a long sequence of cognitive events (e.g., the sequence of productions in ACT-R), cognitive scientists must infer mental steps based largely on the end points of the process – the stimulus and response. This presentation will examine the relationship between Evoked Response Potentials (ERPs) and the cognitive events they signify, using empirical data to segment between the start and end of a cognitive process. Further, I will examine how to implement these ideas into ACT-R by describing three models. With the successful inclusion of brain localization in ACT-R, this presentation will lay out the case for why it is important to incorporate temporal properties of brain events as well. A program of research is proposed to help improve production time estimation in ACT-R.


Andrea Stocco (Washington) – Implications from a Dynamic Causal Modeling Analysis of Brain Data

In the canonical association between modules and brain regions, ACT-R’s procedural module has been mapped to the basal ganglia. This mapping has found a number of experimental verifications with fMRI, and two neural network models have been put forward that provide a robust biological justification for it. There are two potential problems with this. First, the procedural module makes specific and detailed predictions about the directionality of production rules, which have not been tested against fMRI data. The second problem is that the basal ganglia can only perform a subset of the functions of the procedural module. In this presentation, I will try to address these problems by showing a different way of analyzing fMRI data that provides information about the directionality of variable transfer as well as the demand functions of a module. I will then compare the predictions of ACT-R’s procedural module with the results of this analysis, and use the parts where the model predictions do not match to suggest either modified mappings or perhaps simple modifications to the procedural module.


Kevin Gluck (AFRL) – Pace, Persistence, and Scale

I will describe priorities for the future of the architecture as “Pace, Persistence, and Scale.”  I will comment on the extent to which there is any progress on these fronts, describe some enduring challenges, and discuss how these considerations relate to issues of robotic autonomy.


Cleotilde Gonzalez (CMU) – Reflections on Unresolved Problems for Cognitive Architectures

The cognitive mechanisms integrated in ACT-R continue to provide robust demonstrations of computational representations of human behavior. In many ways, this is good news: the essence of human behavior across many environments is alike. However, most of our efforts have focused on demonstrating how the existent mechanisms can account for traditional phenomena rather than on developing new mechanisms to address new classes of phenomena. I will reflect on some open problems in the hope of motivating a discussion of how to represent them computationally.


Dan Bothell (CMU) – Changes and updates for the ACT-R Software

I will describe updates to the current software covering both architectural and functional changes. The most notable architectural change is a new option for the credit assignment of rewards provided in the utility learning mechanism.  The change is to only apply rewards to the productions that have “completed” all of their actions instead of to all those which have been selected. The most significant change to the functionality is a redesign of the history tools available in the ACT-R Environment to provide a more uniform interface and a way to save that information for later inspection.


Glenn Gunzelmann (AFRL) – The Fatigue Module: Unusual, but Necessary

The focus of this talk will be on a fatigue module that provides the capacity for fluctuations in performance as a function of sleep loss, circadian rhythms, and time on task. The module is unusual relative to other ACT-R modules for several reasons: it has no buffers and is not directly responsible for the information processing capacity of the architecture, it influences parameters in other modules through direct module-to-module connections that are not moderated by central cognition, and is fundamentally about the limitations of human cognition. These features, though unusual, are consistent with the existing literature on fatigue, and add an essential dimension often lacking in computational theories of human cognition but necessary to achieve the vision of unified theories of cognition.


Ion Juvina (Wright St) – Learning to Trust and Trusting to Learn

In a series of related projects, we study how trust mediates learning and how trust itself is learned during strategic interaction. We describe an ACT-R model of trust dynamics that accounts for learning within and between the games Prisoner’s Dilemma and Chicken, and a series of validation studies aimed at expanding the range of conditions and tasks to which the model can be applied, including team-based learning. Our work on improving the original model poses fundamental questions about the architecture such as how models can represent other models and learn to interact with them. Complex interactions between trust and learning can be best studied in a cognitive architecture such as ACT-R, which already includes a variety of learning mechanisms. However, we found that new equations and mechanisms need to be developed to deal with the intricacies of trust development, calibration, and repair, including a trust update equation that provides a unified account for a number of effects from the trust literature.


Bill Kennedy (GMU) – ACT-R+: Including Social and Emotional Cognitive Functionality

ACT-R does not provide an implemented theory of social or emotional cognition, i.e., beyond rational cognition. Humans are particularly good at social cognition, specifically, identifying animate behavior and reading the minds and simulation of other agents. These capabilities have been localized in the brain, but that functionality is not yet provided within ACT-R. While the architecture includes a very effective model of memory including similarity and priming effects, these capabilities do not include the effect of emotional valence on memory, necessary to explain the experimental findings. This talk will describe these additional capabilities within ACT-R and their application to human phenomena.


Othalia Larue (Wright St) – From Implicit Affect to Explicit Emotion

We propose a new architectural mechanism to be used for modeling affective states in ACT-R. Some of the existing approaches to modeling affect are inspired by appraisal theories and tend to focus on explicit representations that are hardwired rather than learned. Other approaches attempt to touch upon the implicit aspects of affective processes by investigating the physiological correlates of affect. We propose a solution inspired by the core affect theory, which places implicit visceral reactions to sensory stimuli along two continuous dimensions of affect: arousal (intensity) and valence. We translate the two dimensions in ACT-R as activation and valuation, respectively. The proposed approach unifies the emotion and cognition theories by naturally integrating affect into the existing ACTR mechanisms without requiring additional modules or a major reorganization of the architecture.


Nele Russwinkle (Technical University Berlin) – Spatial Module and Mental Rotation

We extended the architecture with a spatial module and modeled learning and the influence of familiar objects in a mental rotation task. The aim is to predict behavior of people in applied task that depend on spatial competence. What kind of technical support would help them with task, when are errors most probable, in what situation is that task too difficult and the user needs further information.


Troy Kelley (ARL) – Episodic Memory Consolidations: Lessons Learned from a Dreaming Robot

As part of the development of the Symbolic and Sub-symbolic Robotics Intelligence System (SS-RICS) we have implemented a memory store to allow a robot to retain knowledge from previous experiences. As part of the development of the event memory store, justification for an off-line, unconscious memory process was tested. Three strategies for the recognition of previous events were compared. We found that the best strategy used a post-processing process for all memories using pruning, abstraction, and cueing. Pruning removed memories, abstraction used categories to reduce metric information and the cueing process provided pointers for the recognition of episodes. Additionally, we found that post-processing memories for retrieval as a parallel process was the most efficient strategy. This presentation will review the lessons learned from this work and discuss the implications for cognitive architectures.


Matthew Kelly (Carleton) – Holographic Declarative Memory: A Scalable Memory Module

We present Holographic Declarative Memory (HDM), a module that replaces the slot-value strings of ACT-R’s declarative memory with holographic vectors. HDM reproduces the functionality of DM using vectors as symbols, which confers advantages when dealing with large databases. We have demonstrated the suitability of HDM as a substitute for DM on variants of the fan effect task. In HDM, association strengths emerge from the geometries of the vector space. HDM is also scalable: HDM is based on previous holographic models that have been used to infer the semantics of concepts from large untagged corpuses. Finally, HDM have been used in neurally plausible cognitive architectures.


Michael K. Martin, Christian Lebiere, MaryAnne Fields & Craig Lennon (CMU) – Learning Category Instances and Feature Utilities in a Feature-Selection Model

We describe a Feature-Selection model that combines the instance-based learning paradigm (to categorize objects defined by configurations of features) with production utility learning (to learn a subset of features relevant to the categorization). The model is intended to eventually serve as a general model that helps anchor perceptual labels in autonomous systems. Although feature selection and categorization are often addressed separately in machine learning projects, they can be integrated in a cognitive architecture such as ACT-R as a combination of mechanisms including blending, flexible chunk types and and reinforcement learning. We will discuss architectural issues including controlling the feedback loop between declarative and procedural memory, adjusting the level of noise with experience, learning across module boundaries, and accuracy-efficiency tradeoffs.


Frank E. Ritter (Penn State) – Modeling Novice to Expert Performance with a Modeling Compiler

In this talk I will present high-level behavior representation languages in general and one in particular (called Herbal) that helps model performance on a spreadsheet task.  The task takes novices about 25 minutes to perform and experts about 18.  We created a tool to author models from a hierarchical task analysis.  The tool creates 12 models, a completely novice model that has to proceduralize everything, and then 11 levels of initial expertise, ranging from basically a novice to someone that can do the task using just procedures.  The models predict the novice to expert transition, and were created particularly quickly.  The models fit the data surprisingly well, which suggests that we can now model novices and their learning using a GOMS-like model, and that behavioral modeling languages should be used more.


Niels Taatgen (Groningen) – Towards Persistent Cognition

The true potential of cognitive architectures is to generalize over multiple tasks and domains of cognition. However, research in cognitive architectures mainly consists of building models of particular experimental tasks, and therefore has many of the limitations of standard cognitive psychology research that were lamented in Newell’s 20 questions paper. In order to achieve a truly integrated cognitive theory, a number of additional pieces of theory are necessary. The first is knowledge transfer: how can procedural and declarative knowledge be used for more than one task? With PRIMs, I have implemented a set of mechanisms for procedural transfer between tasks. However, this is only a first step towards an architecture that can contain knowledge of many different tasks, and that is capable of learning additional tasks by itself. For this we need mechanisms that are able to specify and prioritize goals, and mechanisms that can learn new tasks from examples, instruction or exploration.


Dan Veksler (ARL) – Simple Task-Actor Protocol: Model Reuse Across Tasks, Task Reuse Across Models

One of the benefits of employing computational process models in Cognitive Science is that such models can perform the same tasks as human participants. Unfortunately, task interfaces do not often lend themselves to be easily parsed by computational models and agents. Even task software written specifically for the purposes of behavioral simulations is often limited in that it is tailored for a specific modeling framework, making it difficult to do cross-framework model comparison. Simple Task-Actor Protocol (STAP) is a basis for task-development methodology that makes psychological experiment software easier to develop, to connect to computational models, and to set up for data logging and playback. STAP-compliant task development enables model-code reuse across tasks, and task reuse across models.


David Peebles (Huddersfield) – Methods for accelerating ACT-R model parameter optimisation

I describe two methods for ACT-R model parameter optimisation that allow the search of a multidimensional parameter space using populations of models.  The first, differential evolution, is a simple, general purpose algorithm that employs an iterative process of mutation, recombination and selection on a population of candidate solutions to converge on a global optimum.  The second method employs HTCondor, an open source, cross-platform software system designed to enable high throughput computing on networked computers.  HTCondor facilitates parameter search by allowing modellers to run large numbers of instances of the same model in parallel.  I will describe the basic principles of differential evolution and HTCondor and draw upon my experience with both to demonstrate how they can be used to accelerate the development of ACT-R models.


Lael J. Schooler (Syracuse) – Cognitive Costs of Decision Making Strategies: A Componential Analysis

Several theories of decision making contend that the use of decision strategies can be determined by the mental effort required. But how to measure the effort—or cognitive costs—associated with a strategy? Previous analyses have mainly focused on the number of attributes used and the type of information aggregation. We propose an approach based on the ACT-R cognitive architecture, called the Resource Demand Decomposition Analysis, that quantifies the time costs of strategies for using specific underlying cognitive resources and takes into account interactions between processing operations as well as the possibility of parallel processing. Using this approach, we quantify, decompose, and compare the time costs of two prominent decision strategies, take-the-best (TTB) and tallying (TALLY).  Our results show that claims about the “simplicity” of decision strategies need to consider not only the amount of information processed but also the cognitive system in which the strategy is embedded.


Dan Veksler (ARL) – How Persuasive is a Good Fit of Model to Data: Model Flexibility Analysis

A good fit of model predictions to empirical data is often used as an argument for model validity. However, if the model is flexible enough to fit a large proportion of potential empirical outcomes, a good fit becomes less meaningful. Model Flexibility Analysis (MFA) is a method for estimating the proportion of potential empirical outcomes that the model can fit. MFA aids model evaluation by providing a metric for gauging the persuasiveness of a given fit. MFA is more informative than merely discounting the fit by the number of free parameters in the model, as the number of free parameters does not necessarily correlate with the flexibility of the model. We contrast MFA with other flexibility assessment techniques, provide examples of how MFA can help to inform modeling results, and discuss a variety of issues relating to the use, disuse, and misuse of MFA in model validation.


Robert West (Carleton) – Using Macro Architectures to Scale Up to Real World Tasks

Scaling up cognitive models for application to real world sociotechnical systems presents several challenges. The first is that building these models from scratch is prohibitively time consuming. The second is that there are different ways to build models of the same task; the more complex the task, the more different ways there are to model it. The idea of a macro cognitive architecture is based on the claim that people tend to use their micro cognitive architecture (e.g., ACT-R) in consistent ways to solve high-level problems that occur across tasks, including problem solving, navigation, competition, negotiation, and planning. SGOMS is a macro cognitive architecture for modeling how people use expert knowledge in multi-agent, dynamic environments with interruptions and re-planning. It is implemented in ACT-R and provides a template for quickly adding task-specific knowledge to create a complex model. Thus it solves two problems: how to jump-start a complex model and how to deal with specific high-level macro cognitive issues. This talk discusses some of the issues and lessons learned in creating and testing SGOMS and how we might develop a suite of ACT-R-based macro cognitive architectures.


Twenty-Second Annual ACT-R Workshop and Summer School

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Students and instructors at the 2015 ACT-R Summer School

(L to R) Misha Pavel, Jakub Dotlacil, Lyle Long, Dan Bothell, Michael Collins, Rachel Lerch, Cvetomir Dimov, James McKanna, Cristobal De La Maza, Emmanouil Konstantinidis, John Anderson, Jelmer Borst, Jason Harman, Hassen Gharbi, Daniel Roberts, Othalia Larue, Christian Lebiere, Rebecca Albrecht, Alex Yahja, Jessie Chin, Palvi Aggarwal, Xiaonan Liu, Wai-Tat Fu

Twenty-Second Anuual ACT-R Workshop Program 2015

The 22nd Annual ACT-R Workshop occurred on July 17-19, 2015 at Carnegie Mellon University. The progam/proceedings are located below.

Friday, July 17

John R. Anderson & Caitlin S. Tenison
Stages of Learning as Revealed by ACT-R Modeling of fMRI Data


J. Gregory Trafton & Anthony M. Harrison
Embodied Gesture and Language


Michael Martin
Exploiting Cognitive Context in Autonomous Perception


Christian Lebiere
Structural Pattern Matching


Anthony M. Harrison
Scaling Up, Scaling Out, and Scaling Understanding


Frank E. Ritter
Comments on documenting models based on documenting an ACT-R compiler


Dario D. Salvucci
ACT-R as Embedded Code


Niels Taatgen
Mobile Models


Panel Discussion

Model-Task Interfacing: General, Scalable Protocols

Vadislav D. Veksler, Ryan M. Hope, Anthony M. Harrison, and Don Morrison


Invited Speaker

Ken Forbus
Towards Software Social Organisms: The Companion Architecture

Saturday, July 18

Christopher L. Dancy
Using MindModeling to explore a parameter space and model the effects of circadian rhythms on cognition


Michael Collins, Ion Juvina, & Kevin Gluck
Comparing Predicted and Observed Trust Dynamics Within and Between Games of Strategic Interaction


Lyle N. Long
Modeling Emotion and Temperament on Cognitive Mobile Robots


Alessandro Oltramari
Understanding consumer experience with ACT-R


Rebecca Albrecht, Holger Schultheis, & Wai-Tat Fu
Memory Processing and the Visual Impedance Effect


Michael D. Byrne
Comparing vector-based and ACT-R memory models using large-scale datasets: User-customized hashtag and tag prediction on Twitter and StackOverflow


Jung Aa Moon
Modeling Science Inquiry Skills in an Interactive Simulation Task


Matthew M. Walsh
Spacing effects across multiple re-learning sessions


Panel Discussion

Scaling Up Cognitive Modeling

Christian Lebiere, Michael D. Byrne, Susan Chipman, Dario D. Salvucci, Niels Taatgen, and J. Gregory Trafton


Tutorials and Demos

Niels Taatgen
PRIMs/ACTransfer tutorial


Anthony M. Harrison
Model Development within jACT-R


Franklin P. Tamborello
ACT-Concurrently: Concurrency Work-Around for ACT-R


Vadislav D. Veksler
Standard Task-Actor Protocol: Less code to serve more types of models and human participants


Sunday, July 19

Dan Bothell
Recent Updates to ACT-R


Panel Discussion

Social-network behavior emerges from individuals: Scaling up cognitive representations, experimental infrastructure and cognitive technologies

Cleotilde Gonzalez, Ion Juvina, Christian Lebiere, and Alex Yahja


Twenty-first Annual Workshop

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ACT-R Workshop 2014 at CogSci

Session 1 – Metacognition and Learning

Coty Gonzalez    Instance-Based Learning Models of Choice 
Stefan Wierda    Modeling Theory of Mind in ACTransfer 
Niels Taatgen    Towards a Model of Life-­Long Learning 

Session 2 – Embodiment and Interaction

Nick Wilson      Habituated Activation: Considerations and Initial Implementation within the SS-RICS Cognitive
                 Robotics System 
Bill Kennedy     Social Cognition: ACT-R Models Talking to Each Other 
Dario Salvucci   From Circles to Cities: Driver Distraction in Traffic

Session 3 – Architecture I

Greg Trafton     A Model of Sustained Attention 
Rebecca Albrecht Towards a Formal Description of the ACT-­R Theory of Cognition with an Application to Spatial 
Glenn Gunzelmann Cognitive Moderators: Methodologies for Turning the Fantasy of Unified Theories into Reality 

Session 4 – Architecture II

Dan Bothell       ACT-­R Updates
Robert West       ACT-R and the Macro Architecture Hypothesis 
John Anderson

Twentieth Annual Workshop

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ACT-R Workshop 2013 at ICCM

Session 1 – Architecture

Unmesh Kurup  	Using Expectations to Drive Cognitive Behavior
Niels Taatgen  	General Strategies for cognitive control
Rob Thomson  	Bottom-Up Learning: The Case for Associative Memory in ACT-R

Session 2 – Applications

Hugh McLarty  	Massively Scalable ACT-R
David Reitter  	Modeling individual differences and need-for-cognition
Mike Schoelles 	JSON Network Interface to ACT-R
Jerry Vinokurov	SAL, a Hybrid Cognitive Architecture, with Applications

Session 3 – Neural

Chris Dancy  	ACT-RΦ: ACT-R with a physiological substrate
Terry Stewart  	Neural Python ACT-R
Robert West  	Is the amygdala a production system?

Session 4 – Future

Dan Bothell  	ACT-R updates

Nineteenth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) Ioanna Katidioti, Ricky Chng, Yingying Tan, Steven Tenaglia, Daniela Link, Caitlin Tenison, Yanfei Liu, Menno Nijboer, David Tobinski, Jelmer Borst, Dan Bothell, John Anderson, John Lindstedt, Katja Mehlhorn, Sergio Verduzco-Flores, Hanna Fechner, Noam Ben-Asher

Nineteenth Anuual ACT-R Workshop Program 2012

The 19th Annual ACT-R Workshop occurred on July 27, July 28, and July 29, 2012 at Carnegie Mellon University. The progam/proceedings are located below.

Friday, July 27


John Anderson
Presentation: Using fMRI to Discover ACT-R Models


Jelmer Borst
Presentation: Using Model-Based fMRI to Locate the Nerual Correlates of Five ACT-R Modules


Jennifer Ferris-Glick & Heeseung Lee
Presentation: Improving Mathematical Intelligent Tutoring Systems


Yulin Qin, Haiyan Zhou, Zhijian Wang, Jain Yang, Ning Zhong, & John Anderson
Presentation: Intrinsic Neural Connection of ACT-R ROIs

Vision & Robotics

Laura Hiatt, Wallace Lawson, & J. Gregory Trafton
Presentaton: Perception and Reasoning in Cognitive Robotics


Unmesh Kurup
Presentation: Usng Expectation to Drive Cognitive Behavior


Enkhbold Nyamsuren & Niels Taatgen
Presentation: Are There More Red Symbols or Square Symbols? Modeling Peripheral Vision with the PAAV Visual Module


Jerry Vinokurov & Christian Lebiere
Presentation: Unsupervised Learning for Symbol-Grounding in the SAL Hybrid Cognitive Architecture

Games & Strategies

Ion Juvina & Christian Lebiere
Presentaton: Modeling transfer of learning in games of strategic interaction


Matthew Kelly & Robert West
Presentation: Modelling decision-making in prisoner’s dilemma


David Reitter & Christian Lebiere
Presentation: Social Cognition: Memory Decay and Adaptive Information Filtering in an ACT-R Simulation


Matthew Rutledge-Taylor, Robert Thomson, Christian Lebiere, James Staszewski, & John Anderson
Presentation: A Comparison of Rule-Based versus Exemplar-Based Categorization in a Model of Sensemaking

Invited Session

Paul Rosenbloom
Presentaton: Sigma: Towards a Graphical Architecture for Integrated Cognition

Comments & Discussion

Saturday, July 28

Human Computer Interaction

Mike Byrne
Presentation: ACT-R as a Usability Tool for Ballot Design


Jungaa Moon & John Anderson
Presentation: Millisecond Time Interval Esitmation in a Dynamic Task


Sterling Somers & Robert West
Presentation: Macro Cognition: Using SGOMS to Pilot a Flight Simulator


Frank Tamborello
Presentation: ACT-Touch: Multitouch Display Interaction for ACT-R


Ion Juvina, Michael Qin, & Christian Lebiere
Presentaton: An ACT-R Model fo the N-Back M-Pitch Paradigm


Katja Melhorn, Niels Taatgen, & Fokie Cnossen
Presentation: Previous Experience and Current Context Influence the Generation of Hypotheses from Memory


Darryl Schneider
Presentation: Modeling Speed-Accuracy Tradeoffs in Recognition


Robert Thomson
Presentation: An Updated Implementation of Associative Learning


Jerry Ball
Presentaton: The Need for Language Specific Buffers to Model Binding and Co-Reference in ACT-R/Double-R


Bill Kennedy
Presentation: Modeling the Intutitive Decision Making of One Agent and Tree-Based Decision Making in Thousands


Christian Lebiere
Presentation: Mental Models for Human-Robot Interaction


Alessandro Oltramari
Presentation: ACT-RK: Integrating Mechanism and Knowledge for Visual Intelligence


Dario Salvucci
Presentation: A Large-Scale Knowledge Base for ACT-R


Dan Bothell
Presentaton: New Developments in ACT-R


Panel Discussion
Cognitive Architectures: State, Trends, & Roadmap

Sunday, July 29

Tutorial Introductions


Niels Taatgen

Troy Kelley



Eighteenth Annual Post-Graduate Summer School

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This is a copy of the program materials. Other information is available on the official 2011 PGSS site.


The PGSS is organized in sessions consisting of extended presentations and open discussions around a specific theme. Each day features three 90-minute sessions from 9am to 3pm, plus a free-ranging evening commentary of the topics of the day led by a discussant. The time between the end of the afternoon session at 3pm and the evening session is set aside for recreation, dinner, and informal discussions and collaboration. The final program, with links to the talk slides, appears below.

Sunday, July 17

ACT-R since 2001
Presentation: Dan Bothell


Bottom-up Control
Presentation: Niels Taatgen
Viewpoints: Robert West


Scaling Up: Comprehensiveness, Scale, and Integration
Presentation: Glenn Gunzelmann
Viewpoints: Niels Taatgen, David Reitter


Richard Young

Monday, July 18

Memory Systems
Presentation: Christian Lebiere
Viewpoints: Tony Harrison, Jerry Ball, Bill Kennedy


Architecture as Software
Presentation: Frank Ritter
Viewpoints: Coty Gonzalez


Teaching ACT-R
Presentation: Mike Byrne
Viewpoints: Niels Taatgen, Mike Schoelles


Dario Salvucci

Tuesday, July 19

Scaling Down: Emotion and Neuroscience
Presentation: Bill Kennedy
Viewpoints: Ion Juvina, Jelmer Borst


Interfacing with Environments and Cognitive Robotics
Presentation: Greg Trafton
Viewpoints: Mike Byrne, Mike Schoelles


The Future of ACT-R
Panel of Organizers


Seventeenth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) San Hun Lee, Ryan Hope, Hyungseok Oh, Jerry Vinokourov, Yunfeng Zhang, Dan Bothell, David Sloan, John Anderson, Christian Lebiere, Mary Freiman, Chris Bogart, Hee Seung Lee, Daniel Gartenberg, Michelle Moon

ACT-R 2010 Workshop Schedule

Dan Bothell 		What's new in ACT-R 6.0
Bonnie John		CogTool: A Tool for Interface Design and ACT-R Research

Frank Ritter		Building Learning Models Quickly that do a Non-iterative Task
David Reitter		Hands-on with ACT-UP, a Cognitive Toolbox for Scalable Models
Jelmer Borst		Using Cognitive Models to Analyze fMRI Data

Wayne Gray		Space Fortress: An Overview
Marc Destefano		Modeling Space Fortress: RPI Effort
Dan Bothell		Modeling Space Fotress: CMU Effort

Christian Lebiere	Softening Representations for Model Reuse and Generality
Dario Salvucci		Cognitive Supermodels

John Anderson		The Future of ACT-R in the Post-John Era

Sixteenth Annual Workshop

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ACT-R 2009 Workshop Schedule

Opening:  ACT-R from CMU's Perspective
John Anderson	   	Overview of ACT-R	
Dan Bothell        	Details of ACT-R 6.0

Presentations 1: Architecture
Christian Lebiere  	Functional constraints on architectural mechanisms
Leendert van Maanen	Retrieval by accumulating evidence in ACT-R
Vladislav D. Veksler	A mechanism for decisions in the absence of prior reward

Presentations 2: Extentions
Lael J. Schooler	ACT-R forays into the semantic web
Glenn Gunzelmann	Making models tired: A module for fatigue
Anthony Harrison	Acting outside the box: Truly embodied ACT-R
Michael J. Schoelles	Interfacing ACT-R with different types of environments and with different techniques:	                Issues and suggestions

Panel: Future of ACT-R from a non-CMU Perspective
Danilo Fum
Kevin A. Gluck
Wayne D. Gray
Niels A. Taatgen
J. Gregory Trafton
Richard M. Young

Fifteenth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) Anne Porbadnigk, Neil Jones, Katja Mehlhorn, Carlos Arevalo Mercado, Tiffany Jastrzembski, John Anderson, Niels Taatgen, Atsushi Terao, Darryl Schneider, David Reitter, Dan Bothell, Christian Lebiere, Richard Burns, Edgar Acosta, Rick Moore, Hendrik Neumann

Link to Proceedings


Fourteenth Annual Summer School

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Front Row: (L to R) Niels Taatgen, Christian Lebiere, Michel Brudzinski, John Anderson, Andrea Heiberg, Jack Harris, Yao Hu, Julian Marewski, David Cades, Matthew Walsh, Ion Juvina
Back Row: (L to R) Scott Douglass, Dan Bothell, Fehmida Hussain, Ana Sofia Morais, Kristen Green, Alberto De Obeso Orendain, Sven Bruessow, Varun Dutt


Thirteenth Annual Workshop

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(L to R) Green shirt guy [statue], Paul Kieffaber, Melissa Beck, Orit Hazzan, Amy Santamaria, Brittney Opperman, Barbara Deml, Bella (Zafria) Veksler, Daniel Holt, Melih Gunal, Gustavo Lacerda, Niels Taatgen, John Anderson, Yulin Qin, Dean Petters, Ken McAnally, Dan Bothell, Little red shirt guy [statue], Dad of little red shirt guy [statue], Don Morrison


link to proceedings


All sessions will be in Adamson Wing (room 136A), which is on the first floor of Baker Hall.



7:45 Continental breakfast

8:15 Welcome


8:30 Five talks (20 minutes each)


John Anderson, A new utility learning mechanism



Glenn Gunzelmann, Representing Human Spatial Competence in ACT-R

William Kennedy & Greg Trafton, Representing and Reasoning about Space

Greg Trafton, Raj Ratwani & Len Breslow, A Color Perceptual Process Theory: Letting ACT-R see Colors.

Mike Byrne, An ACT-R Timing Module based on the Attentional Gate Model


10:10 Break


10:30 Five talks


Communication and Learning from Instructions

Mike Matessa, Four levels of Communication, Error, and Recovery in ACT-R

Angela Brunstein, Learning Algebra by Exploration


Leendert van Maanen & Hedderik van Rijn, Memory Structures as User Models

Jong Kim, Frank Ritter & Richard Koubek, Learning and Forgetting in ACT-R.

Jon Fincham & Greg Siegle, Modeling mechanisms that differentiate healthy and depressed individuals: The Paced Auditory Serial Attention Task


12:10 Lunch


1:30-5:30 David Noelle, Leabra tutorial and discussion (with 3:30-4:00 break)


6:30-10:00 Party at the Pittsburgh Centre for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh.




7:45 Continental breakfast


8:30 Five talks


Multi-tasking and Control

Duncan Brumby & Dario Salvucci, Exploring Human Multitasking Strategies from a Cognitive Constraints Approach

Dario Salvucci & Niels Taatgen, An Integrated Approach to Multitasking in ACT-R

Andrea Stocco & John Anderson, The Neural Correlates of Control States in Algebra Problem Solving

Erik Altmann & Greg Trafton, Modeling the Timecourse of Recovery from Task Interruption

         Jared Danker, The Roles of Prefrontal and Posterior Parietal Cortices in Algebra Problem Solving: A Case of Using Cognitive Modeling to Inform Neuroimaging Data


10:10 Break


10:30 Five talks


Individual differences

Niels Taatgen, Ion Juvina, Seth Herd & David Jilk, A Hybrid Model of Attentional Blink

Daniel Hasumi-Dickison and Niels Taatgen, Individual differences in the Abstract Decision Making Task.

Ion Juvina, Niels A. Taatgen, & Daniel Hasumi-Dickison, The Role of Top-Down Control in Working Memory Performance: Implications for Multi-Tasking


Modeling/Architectural issues/Tools

Robert St. Amant, Sean McBride & Frank Ritter, An AI Planning Perspective on Abstraction in ACT-R Modeling

Christian Lebiere, Constraints and Complexity of Information Retrieval


12:10 Lunch


1:30 Five talks


John Anderson, Dan Bothell, Christian Lebiere & Niels Taatgen, the BICA project


Model validation

Glenn Gunzelmann & Kevin Gluck, Model Validation and High Performance Computing

Hedderik van Rijn, Complex model validation by multi-level modeling

Terrence Stewart  & Robert West, ACT-R versus not-ACT-R: Demonstrating Cross-domain Validity

Simon Li & Richard Young, ACT-R ALMOST provides a formula for predicting the rate of post-completion error


3:10 Break


3:40 Future of ACT-R




7:45 Continental breakfast


8:30 Five talks


Reasoning/problem solving

Adrian Banks, The Influence of Belief on Relational Reasoning: An ACT-R Model


Complex tasks

Michael Schoelles, Wayne D. Gray, Vladislav Veksler, Stephane Gamard, and Alex Grintsvayg, Cognitive Modeling of Web Search

Eric Raufaste, ATC in ACT-R, a model of Conflict Detection between Planes

Shawn Nicholson, Michael Byrne & Michael Fotta, Modifying ACT-R for Visual Search of Complex Displays

Shawn Nicholson, Michael Fotta, Rober St. Amant & Michael Byrne, SegMan and HEMA-SI


10:10 Break


10:30 Five talks



Frank Ritter, Sue Kase, Michael Schoelles, Jeanette Bennett & Laura Cousino Klein, Cognitive Aspects of Serial Subtraction

Robert West, Terrence Stewart & Bruno Emond, Modeling Emotion in ACT-R

Danilo Fum, Expected values and loss frequencies: A new view on the choice process in the Iowa Gambling Task


Visual perception and Search

Troy Kelley, Visual Search

Mike Byrne, A Theory of Visual Salience Computation in ACT-R


12:10 End


Twelfth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) Rui Mata, Bruce Burns, Yvonne Kao, Adrian Banks, Jong Kim, Linnea Karlsson, Niels Taatgen, Alexandra Forsythe, Edward Cokely, Dan Bothell, Heather Dye, Jared Danker, Ion Juvina, Leendert van Maanen, Tim Halverson, Michael Fotta, John Anderson

PDF of Proceedings


Eleventh Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) Niels Taatgen, Leo Ferres, Daniel Veksler, Angela Brunstein, Wolfgang Gaissmaier, John Anderson, Lissette Mol, Dan Bothell, Andrew Reifers, Raj Ratwani, Chris Sims, Renee Elio, Yelena Kushleyva
NOT PICTURED: Gisela Bahr, Scott Kerick


Carnegie Mellon University – July 2004

ACT-R is a cognitive theory and simulation system for developing cognitive
models for tasks that vary from simple reaction time to air traffic control.
The most recent advances of the ACT-R theory were detailed in the recent
book “The Atomic Components of Thought” by John R. Anderson and Christian
Lebiere, published in 1998 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, and in a paper
available online ( Each year, a summer school is held to train researchers in the use
of the ACT-R system. This year the summer school is followed by the International
Conference on Cognitive Modeling, which will also be in Pittsburghfrom July 30
until August 1. See for details.
The Eleventh Annual ACT-R Summer School will be held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in July 2004.


The summer school will take place from Friday July 23 to Wednesday July 28.
This intensive 6-day course is designed to train researchers in the use of
ACT-R for cognitive modeling. It is structured as a set of six units, with
each unit lasting a day and involving a morning theory lecture, a web-based tutorial,
an afternoon discussion session and a homework assignment which participants
are expected to complete during the day and evening.  Computing facilities will be provided.


To provide an optimal learning environment, admission is limited to a dozen participants,
who must submit by April 20 an application consisting of a curriculum vitae and a
statement of purpose.  Demonstrated experience with a modeling formalism similar to
ACT-R will strengthen the application. Applicants will be notified of admission by May 4,
with early notification upon request.  Admission to the summer school is free.


More information, including papers published by the ACT-R community, can be found
on the ACT-R web site (


A registration form is appended below.  Additional information (detailed
schedule, etc.) will appear on the ACT-R Web site when available or can be requested at:


2004 ACT-R Summer School
Psychology Department
Attn: Niels Taatgen
Baker Hall 345E                                 Fax: +1 (412) 268-2844
Carnegie Mellon University                     Tel: +1 (412) 268-2815
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890                     Email:



Eleventh Annual ACT-R Summer School and Workshop
July 23 to 28, 2004 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh


Name:     …………………………………………………………


Address: …………………………………………………………




Tel/Fax: …………………………………………………………


Email:    …………………………………………………………

Summer School (July 23 to 28)

Applications are due APRIL 20.  Acceptance will be notified by MAY 4.
Applicants MUST include a curriculum vitae and a short statement of purpose.
Demonstration of experience with a modeling formalism similar to ACT-R,
such as a completed model, should also be included in the application.


Housing is available in Resnick House, a CMU dormitory that offers
suite-style accommodations.  Rooms include air-conditioning, a semi-private
bathroom and a common living room for suite-mates.  Last year’s rates were
$267.75/week/person or $38.25/night/person for single rooms and
$192.50/week/person or $27.50/night/person for double rooms.  Housing
reservations will be taken after acceptance to the summer school.  Do not
send money.  See for further housing information.


To reserve a room in Resnick House, fill in the dates and select one of the
three room options:

I will stay from ……………. to …………….


1. … I want a single room
2. … I want a double room and I will room with …………….
3. … I want a double room.  Please select a roommate of ……. gender




The recommended hotel is the Wyndham Garden Hotel, located within easy
walking distance of CMU.  Contact the Wyndham directly at +1 (877) 662 6242.


Send this form to:


2004 ACT-R Summer School
Psychology Department
Niels Taatgen
Baker Hall 345E                                Fax: +1 (412) 268-2844
Carnegie Mellon University                   Tel: +1 (412) 268-2815
Pittsburgh, PA15213-3890                    Email:


Tenth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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Front Row: (L to R) Dan Bothell, Sue Kase, Simon Li, Sarah Peterson-Everett, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Phil Pavlik
Back Row: (L to R) Glenn Gunzelmann, Dario Salvucci, Shavan Vasishth, Scott Douglass, Carl Smith, Norbu Buchler, Christopher Myers, Christian Lebiere, Dan Schunk, John Anderson, Raluca Budiu, Annes Fowles-Winkler, Niels Taatgen, Hedderik van Rijn, Sally Bogacz, Fransisco Pereira, Martin Greaves

2003 ACT-R Workshop Schedule

Friday, July 25

Talk Session 1

proceedings John Anderson Learning a complex, dynamic skill
proceedings Octavio Juarez Cognitive Architecture for Situation Awareness (CASA)
proceedings Michael Matessa Re-use of a serial list model for aircraft procedure learning
proceedings Frank Ritter Using cognitive modeling to study behavior moderators: pre-task appraisal and anxiety
proceedings Niels Taatgen Variability of behavior in complex skill acquisition

Talk Session 2

proceedings Danilo Fum Reinforcing vs. informative feedback while controling a dynamic system
proceedings Richard Lewis Revisiting the chunking of goal hierarchies
proceedings Peter Pirolli The role of information scent in online browsing
proceedings Hongbin Wang Toward a symbolic model of human attentional networks
proceedings Richard Young Should ACT-R include rule refraction?

Future of ACT-R

proceedings Dan Bothell ACT-R 6.0
proceedings Frank Ritter ACT-R FAQ

Invited Session

proceedings James McClelland Developing a domain-general framework for cognition: What is the best approach?
John Anderson Response

Saturday, July 26

Talk Session 3

proceedings Erik Altmann AWOL homunculus: Cue activation processes in task-switching
proceedings Anthony Harrison ACT-R/S: Coordinating spatial representations
proceedings Todd Johnson Modeling the use of multiple frames of reference for object location memory
proceedings Michael Schoelles Task switching in the Argus model: Implications for the buffer architecture
proceedings Greg Trafton The disruptiveness of interruptions

Talk Session 4

proceedings Bruno Emond Exploring the usability of adaptive menus with a simple object system
proceedings Wayne Gray Simborgs: Towards the building of simulated human users for interactive system design
proceedings Bonnie John New tools for modeling for HCI evaluation
proceedings Frank Lee Hide and seek: Data and model
proceedings Robert St. Amant SegMan

Symposium 1

Michael Byrne: Interfacing ACT-R with external simulations
proceedings Michael Byrne
proceedings Eric Biefeld, Brad Best & Christian Lebiere
proceedings Jerry Ball & Kevin Gluck
proceedings Michael Schoelles
proceedings Dan Bothell
Dario Salvucci
Frank Lee
proceedings Frank Ritter & Robert St. Amant

Symposium 2

Richard Young and Hedderik van Rijn: Model fitting and parameter estimation
Heederik van Rijn
Niels Taatgen
proceedings Richard Young
proceedings Frank Ritter

Sunday, July 27

Talk Session 5

proceedings Ryan Baker Statistical techniques for comparing ACT-R models of cognitive performance
proceedings Nathan Brannon Augmenting interactive genetic algorithms through the integration of ACT-R
proceedings Nick Cassimatis Modeling uncertain reasoning with stochastic simulation in ACT-R
proceedings Christian Lebiere The advantage of architectural assumptions: benefits for baseball batting
proceedings Dario Salvucci Tracking driver intentions with the ACT-R driver model

Talk Session 6

proceedings Raluca Budiu Reading instructions in ACT-R: When sentence structure matters
proceedings Philip Pavlik An ACT-R model of the spacing effect
proceedings Myeong-Ho Sohn The prefrontal-parietal dissociation during episodic memory retrieval
proceedings Hedderik van Rijn Explaining the pseudohomophone effect in lexical decision
proceedings Shravan Vasishth Decay and interference in human sentence processing


Ninth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) Hedderk van Rijn, Raluc Buidu, Magdalena Bugaska, Niels Taatgen, Gwendolyn Campbell, Christian Lebiere, John Anderson, Daniel Carruth, Dan Bothell, Hansjoerg Neth, Susan Chipman, Tim Nokes, Laurel Allender, Marios Avraamides, Jerry Ball, Stephanie Lackey

2002 ACT-R Workshop Schedule

Friday August 2

8:30 AM Talk Session 1

John Anderson, Yulin Qin, Myeong-Ho Sohn, Andy Stenger and Cam Carter

Symbol Fun: ACT-R�s brain changes with practice

Stefani Nellen

The take the best heuristic and ACT-R

Timothy J. Nokes, Stellan Ohlsson and Andrew Corrigan-Halpern

Learning by analogy vs learning by instruction: Same knowledge, different representations

Greg Trafton

Playing hide and seek without perspective-taking:A learning model

10:30 AM Talk Session 2

John Anderson, Dan Bothell, Scott Douglass, Craig Haimson and Myeong-Ho Sohn

CMU-ASP: ACT-R learns to be an anti-air warfare coordinator

Jerry Ball, Kevin Gluck, Michael Krusmark, Mathew Purtee and Stu Rodgers

Process and challenges in development of the Predator air vehicle operator model

Bradley Best, Christian Lebiere and Chris Scarpinatto

Modeling synthetic opponents in urban combat simulations

Niels Taatgen, Marcia van Oploo, Jos Braaksma and Jelle Niemantsverdriet

From model to application: developing a believable opponent in the game of Set!

12:10 PM Lunch

1:00 PM The Future of ACT-R

Christian Lebiere ACT-R 5.0 and 6.0

Niels Taatgen Production compilation

Frank Ritter The ACT-R FAQ

Eli Silk The New ACT-R web page

Mike Byrne The current state of ACT-R/PM

Anthony Harrison jACT-R: Beta and Beyond

Dan Bothell The new ACT-R environment


3:00 PM Invited Session

Richard Cooper Mechanisms of sequential control

John Anderson Response


8:30 AM Talk Session 3

Mike Byrne

ACT-R as a framework for modeling human error

Troy Kelley

Modeling situation awareness errors in a navigation task

Dirk van Rooy, Frank E. Ritter and Robert St. Amant

Using a simulated user to explore human-robot interfaces

Robert West and Bruno Emond

SOS: A Simple Operating System for modeling HCI with ACT-R

10:30 AM Talk Session 4

Mike Byrne, David Maurier and Christopher Fick

Reaping the rewards of teaching ACT-R: Class projects Spring 2002

Cleotilde Gonzalez

Modeling coordination in team dynamic resource allocation

Glenn Gunzelmann and John R. Anderson

Performance differences between strategies in an orientation task

David Huss

An ACT-R/PM model of the articulatory loop

1:00 PM Talk Session 5

Mon-Chu Chen

Cognitive approaches to gaze tracking

Todd R. Johnson, Hongbing Wang, Jiajie Zhang and Yue Wang

Memory for multidimension stimuli

David Peebles

Investigating the incidental learning of location information in a visual search task

Hongbin Wang

Modeling human attention networks

3:00 PM Comparative Architectures Symposium

B. Chandrasekaran Multimodal representation as basis for cognitive architecture

Michael Freed Behavior representation in Apex


8:30 AM Talk Session 6

Erik Altmann

Switch cost: A failed measure of executive control

Raluca Budiu

Can ACT-R process language in real-time?Putting together syntactic and semantic processing

Hedderik Van Rijn

Modeling developmental transitions. A proceduralization model of balance scale learning

Richard Young

Random walk processes in ACT-R mechanisms lead to a wild distribution of learning times

10:30 AM Talk Session 7

Kwangsu Cho and Christian Schunn

Strategy shift in prisoner�s dilemma through utility learning

Danilo Fum and Andrea Stocco

Procedural learning in the control of a dynamic system

Christian Lebiere

AMBR III: A simple, predictive, architectural model of categorization in the wild


Eighth Annual Post-Graduate Summer School

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Saturday   8:00 pm   John Anderson      Issues in the Future of ACT-R   .html   .ppt   .pdf

Sunday     9:00 am   Mike Byrne         R/PM                            .html   .ppt   .pdf
          11:00 am   Christian Lebiere  5.0 Architecture                .html   .ppt   .pdf
           1:30 pm   Dan Bothell        Environment & Education         .html   .ppt   .pdf
           8:00 pm   Dario Salvucci     Commentary                      .html   .ppt   .pdf

Monday     9:00 am   Christian Lebiere  5.0 Subsymbolic Computation     .html   .ppt   .pdf
          11:00 am   John Anderson      Parameters and Estimation       .html   .ppt   .pdf
           1:30 pm   Marsha Lovett      Individual Differences          .html   .ppt   .pdf
           8:00 pm   Eric Altmann       Commentary                      .html   .ppt   .pdf

Tuesday    9:00 am   Niels Taatgen      Production Compilation          .html   .ppt   .pdf
          11:00 am   John Anderson      Instruction                     .html   .ppt   .pdf
           1:30 pm   Rick Lewis         Language                        .html   .ppt   .pdf
           8:00 pm   Richard Young      Commentary                      .html   .doc   .pdf

Wednesday  9:00 am   Jon Fincham        Cognitive Neuroscience          .html   .ppt   .pdf
          11:00 am   Christian Lebiere  Future of ACT-R                

Seventh Annual Workshop and Summer School

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Front Row: (L to R) Bianca M. Sumutka, David Peebles, Daniel Cassenti, John Anderson, John Stricker, Lisa Stevenson, Anthony Hornof, Nathan Brannon, Melanie Cary, Frank Ritter, Anthony Harrison, Yulin Qin, Jay Brown
Back Row: (L to R) Frank Lee, Melanie Diez, Glenn Gunzelmann, Jon Fincham, Dan Bothell, Stefani Nellen, Eric Raufaste, Marcia Lovett, Mike Matessa

2000 ACT-R Workshop Schedule

All the lectures take place in Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A.
The Saturday lunch demo session takes place in Baker Hall 332P.
The Saturday evening dinner party takes place at 217 S. Dallas.

Saturday August 5

9:00am     Presentation Session 1 

John Stricker        Integrating visual and motor reponses and visual
Sandra Marshall      imagery in a simple dynamic environment

Wayne Gray           Captain Nemo: A software engineering approach to
Susan Kirschenbaum   contructing a plausible model for Project Nemo

Dario Salvucci       ACT-R and driving

Danilo Fum           Adaptive spatial planning: An ACT-R model
Fabio Del Missier

10:40am    Break

10:50am    Presentation Session 2

Lael Schooler        Does ACT-R's activation equation reflect the
                     environment of early hominids?

Erik Altmann         Retrieval threshold adaptivity

Alexander Petrov     ANCHOR: A memory-based model of category rating

Marsha Lovett        (Not) just another model of the Stroop effect

12:30pm    Lunch Break

1:00pm     Demo Session

2:00pm     Invited Session

Herbert A. Simon     Issues of methodology in using empirical data
                     to test computational theories of cognition

John R. Anderson     Reply

All                  Discussion

6:00pm     Dinner Party

Sunday August 6

9:00am     Presentation Session 3

Michael Schoelles    Empirical test of the Argus Prime ACT-R/PM model
Wayne Gray           at the unit task level

Mike Byrne           Modeling search of computer displays in ACT-R/PM

Wolfgang Schoppek    An ACT-R model of the interaction between trained
Deborah Boehm-Davis  airline pilots and the flight management system

Frank Lee            An ACT-R model of GT-ASP

10:40am    Break

10:50am    Summer School Research Projects

12:?0pm    Lunch Break

1:00pm     Special Session 1

Panel Discussion     Applications of cognitive architectures
Kevin Gluck, Dario Salvucci, Frank Ritter, Steve Blessing, Christian Lebiere

3:00pm     Break

3:30pm     Special Session 2

Christian Lebiere    ACT-R 5.0

Mike Byrne           RPM 2.0

Niels Taatgen        Proposal for Proceduralization in ACT-R 5.0

Discussion           The future of ACT-R

Monday August 7

9:00am    Presentation Session 4

Hedderik van Rijn    An ACT-R model of lexical decision
Eric-Jan Wagenmakers

Niels Taatgen        Why do children learn to say "broke"?
John Anderson        A model of learning the past tense

Raluca Budiu         An ACT-R model for judging metaphoric sentences and
John Anderson        learning metaphors

John Anderson        Learning from instructions

10:40am    Break

10:50am    Presentation Session 5

Roman Belavkin       Adding a theory of motivation to ACT-R
Frank Ritter

Kenning Marchant     Legal rules as cognitive grammars in an ACT-R framework

Richard Young        A new rational framework for modelling exploratory
Anna Cox             device learning ... but does it fit with ACT-R?

Scott Sanner         Achieving efficient and cognitively plausible learning
Christian Lebiere    in backgammon

12:30pm    Workshop ends

Sixth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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              Carnegie Mellon University, July 27 - August 6, 1999


                     SIXTH ANNUAL ACT-R Workshop
              George Mason University, August 6-9, 1999


Erik M. Altmann &    Functional decay in serial attention (slides)
Wayne D. Gray       

Erik M. Altmann &    Functional encoding in memory for goals (slides)
J. Gregory Trafton

John R. Anderson &   Implications of the Tower of Hanoi for ACT-R's Goal Stack (slides)
Scott Douglass 

John R. Anderson     Response to Invited Address (slides)

John R. Anderson,    Introduction to ACT-R (slides)
Christian Lebiere, &
Dieter Wallach

Raluca Budiu         Incomplete Meaning Processing: Moses' Illusion and Metaphor Understanding(abstract,paper)

Mike Byrne &         A New Model of Menu Search (slides)
John R. Anderson

Larry Daily,         Cross-task Prediction of Working Memory Performance: Working Memory Capacity as 
Marsha Lovett, &     Source Activation (paper,slides)
Lynne Reder

Brian Ehret          Learning Where to Look: An ACT-R/PM Model (slides)

Bruno Emond          Modeling On-line Semantic Interpretation (paper)

Daniel Freudenthal   The Role of Foreknowledge in Deducing Operating Procedures on a Simulated Device (slides)

Wai-Tat Fu &         Protocol Tracer for a Simple, Rule-based Task (slides)
Wayne D. Gray

Kevin Gluck,         Progress Towards an ACT-R/PM Model of Algebra Symbolization (abstract,slides)
John R. Anderson,
Scott Douglass, & 
Mike Byrne

Cleotilde Gonzalez,  ACT-R Learning in a Real-Time Dynamic Decision-Making Task (slides)
Christian Lebiere, & 
Javier Lerch

Myeong-Ho Sohn &     Effects of Foreknowledge and Foreperiod on Task-Switching Cost (slides) 
John R. Anderson

Linda Jongman,       The Working Memory Hypothesis of Mental Fatigue (abstract)
Theo Meijman, & 
Ritske de Jong

Christian Lebiere    The Future of ACT-R 

Christian Lebiere    Blending: An ACT-R Mechanism for Aggregate Retrievals (abstract,slides)

Frank Lee &          Modelling Dynamic Tasks: Implications for ACT-R/PM (abstract,slides)
Mike Byrne

Kenning Marchant     Economic Actors, Legal Actions and ACT-R: A Discrete Mathematical Alternative to 
                     Rational Choice (slides)

Micheal Matessa &    Modeling Communication in a Graph Comparison Task (abstract,slides)
John R. Anderson

Neville Moray        Invited Address (abstract)

Dario Salvucci &     An ACT-R Model of Analogical Thinking (paper,slides)
John R. Anderson

Mike Schoelles &     Modeling an Interactive Dynamic Task: Argus Prime (slides)
Wayne D. Gray

Wolfgang Schoppek    Rules and Instances in the Control of a Static System - Modeling the Influence of 
                     Casual Interpretation (paper)

Christian Schunn     Exploring Individual Variability Using ACT-R (slides)

Eric Scott           A Hybrid Model of the Novices' Performance on a Simulated CIC Task 

Tony Simon           Explaining Apparent Infant Numerical Competence in Terms of 
                     Object Representation (abstract,slides)

Niels Taatgen        Learning without Limits (slides)

Werner Tack          Probabilistic Production Selection in ACT-R (paper)

Atsushi Terao &      Solving Non-isomorphic Algebra Word Problems
Takashi Kusumi

Hedderik van Rijn,   Stair- and Wave-like Development on the Balance Scale Task (slides)
Irma Houtzager, &
Maarten van Someren

Dieter Wallach &     Example-based Models of Control Problems (paper,slides)
Christian Lebiere

Alan White           Modeling Individual Differences in Alphabet Arithmetic

Richard Young        ACT-R and Soar Still have Much to Learn from Each Other (slides)

Fifth Annual Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) Kevin Gluck, XX, Christian Lebiere, Mike Byrne, XX, Andrew Conway, Marcia Lovett, Hedderik van Rijn, XX, Wolfgang Schoppek, Jon Fincham, John Anderson, Wai-Tat Fu, Frank Lee, Dan Bothell, Robert West, Mike Matessa, Jeffrey Feddon, Dario Salvucci, Peter Delaney, XX, Sean Duncan

                       FIFTH ANNUAL ACT-R WORKSHOP

              Carnegie Mellon University - July 18-21 1998

Pictures ... Talks

ACT-R is a cognitive theory and simulation system for developing
cognitive models for tasks that vary from simple reaction time to air
traffic control.  Each year, a workshop is held to present new
developments and applications and to enable current users to exchange
results and ideas.  The fifth Annual ACT-R Workshop will be held at
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.   The workshop will start on
the morning of Saturday July 18 and conclude by early afternoon on
Tuesday July 21, 1998.  Workshop participants who register early will
receive a complimentary copy of The Atomic Components of Thought, the
new book to be published this summer describing the latest developments
of the ACT theory.  The early registration deadline is JULY 1.

Mornings will be devoted to research presentations, each lasting about
30 minutes including questions.  Participants are invited to present
their ACT-R research by submitting a presentation title and a short
abstract.  Sunday and Monday afternoons will feature discussion sessions
and instructional tutorials.  Potential tutorials include the writing of
interface scripts for ACT-R models and the extraction, analysis and
interpretation of eye-tracking data.  Potential discussion topics
include declarative versus procedural representation and problem
solving.  Feel free to suggest a session topic, either on your
registration form or by replying to this email.  Sunday and Monday
evenings will be occupied by demonstration sessions, during which
participants can gain a more detailed knowledge of the models presented
and engage in unstructured discussions.  The future of ACT-R session on
Tuesday morning may include a debate on the issues of implementation
language and platform, standardization and use of the web.

Saturday afternoon will feature our invited speaker, Kurt VanLehn from
the University of Pittsburgh, who will be speaking on the topic of
tutoring.  ACT has had a long history in research on tutoring.  There is
a perception that the finer grain size of ACT-R 4.0 has made it less
relevant to issues of tutoring.  Kurt has had a long history of research
on architectures and on tutoring.  In his principal address, he will
focus on the design decisions in tutoring systems and the empirical
evidence relevant to these design decisions.  Kurt and John Anderson
will discuss the issue of the relevance of ACT-R 4.0 to tutoring

Admission to the workshop is open to all.  The early registration fee
(before July 1) is $100 and the late registration fee (after July 1) is
$125.  Registration includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday, a dinner
party on Saturday, a copy of the proceedings and a copy of the Atomic
Components of Thought book (except for late registrants).  A
registration form is available.  Specify the title and abstract of
your talk (if applicable) and any suggestion for a session topic.
Additional information (detailed schedule, directions & dining, etc.) 
will appear on the ACT-R Web site ( 
or can be requested at:

1998 ACT-R Workshop and Summer School
Psychology Department
Attn: Helen Borek
Baker Hall 345C                                 Fax: +1 (412) 268-2844
Carnegie Mellon University                      Tel: +1 (412) 268-3438
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890                       Email:

Fourth Workshop and Summer School

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Carnegie Mellon University

August 2 to 5 1997

1997 Workshop

Front Row: (L to R) Kevin Gluck, Jon Fincham, John Anderson, Johnny Chuah, Jim Davies
Second Row: (L to R) Carol Raye, Danielle McNamara, Frank Lee, Susan Trickett, Mike Matessa, XX , XX, XX, Marsha Lovett
Third Row: (L to R) Erik Altmann, Christian Lebiere, Myeong-Ho Sohn, Tracy Hutcheson, Mike Byrne, Bruno Emond, XX, XX, XX, Jose Leitao


ACT-R is a simulation system for developing cognitive models for tasks
that vary from simple reaction time to air traffic control.  Each year a
workshop is held to present new developments and applications and will
be held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh from August 2 to
August 5, 1997 (just before the Cognitive Science conference).  The
early registration deadline is June 15.

The mornings will be devoted to research presentations.  Participants
are invited to give a short presentations of their related research
(completed, ongoing and planned projects are all acceptable).  Early
afternoons will be devoted to special interest sessions.  Potential
session topics include ACT-R education and standardization, parameter
estimation in ACT-R models and the new perceptual/motor interface.  Feel
free to suggest a session topic, either on your registration form or by
replying to this email.  During late afternoons and evenings,
participants are encouraged to work on their research, exchange ideas
and engage in unstructured discussions.  Finally, this year's invited
speaker is Walter Schneider from the Center for the Neural Basis of
Cognition.  He will speak about the latest neurophysiological data,
followed by a discussion on ACT-R's relevance to neural data and
connectionist models.

Admission to the workshop is open to all.  The early registration fee is
$50 and the late registration fee (after June 15) is $75.  A
registration form is appended below.  Specify the title of your talk (if
applicable) and any suggestion for a session topic.  If you have already
registered, feel free to send your suggestions by email.  

Additional information such as a registration form and detailed schedule 
will appear on the ACT-R Web site ( as available 
or can be requested at:

1997 ACT-R Workshop
Psychology Department
Attn: Helen Borek
Baker Hall 345C                                 Fax: +1 (412) 268-2844
Carnegie Mellon University                      Tel: +1 (412) 268-3438
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890                       Email:

Third Workshop and Summer School

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(L to R) XX, XX, Mike Matessa, XX, XX, Jon Fincham, XX, XX, Marsha Lovett, XX, XX, XX, John Anderson, XX, Christian Lebiere, XX, XX

Carnegie Mellon University – June 1996


ACT-R is a simulation system for developing cognitive models for tasks that vary from simple reaction time to air traffic control. Each year a workshop and summer school is held to train researchers in the use of the system and to enable current users of the system to exchange results.

  • Summer School: June 17 to 24

    • Train researchers in the use of ACT-R for cognitive modeling.
    • Theory lectures, homework assignments and research projects.
    • Limited admission. Stipend available.
    • Participants are expected to stay on for tutorial and workshop.
    • Novices will be required to attend a two-day pre-session.
  • Tutorial: June 25 to 28

    • Train researchers in the use of new features of ACT-R 3.0.
    • Includes new development environment, visual/action interface and integrated experiment software.
    • Open to a limited number of workshop participants.
    • Preference given to graduates of previous summer school and those who can bring their own portable computer.
  • Workshop: June 29 and 30

    • Presentations of new research and development in ACT-R.
    • The new ACT-R 3.0 system will be introduced and each participant will receive a copy of the system.
    • Participants are encouraged to give a short presentation of their related research (completed, ongoing and planned projects and comparative studies are all acceptable)

Registration and housing forms and the latest schedule are available on the Web or can be requested at:


1996 ACT-R Workshop and Summer School
Psychology Department
Attn: Helen Borek
Baker Hall 345C					Fax: +1 (412) 268-2844
Carnegie Mellon University			Tel: +1 (412) 268-3438
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890			Email:

Second Workshop and Summer School

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1995 ACT-R Summer School
Benjamin McLaren Angel Cabrera Derek Brock Brian Ehret Richard Catrambone Mike Byrne Nick Cassimatis Rakesh Jain Alan Kersten Niels Taatgen Kevin Gluck

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