Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: NWI-I00054
Cognition and Representation
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-I00054
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Informatica en Informatiekunde;
dr. J.J. Sarbo
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.J. Sarbo
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.J. Sarbo
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
KW1-KW2  (04/09/2017 to 04/02/2018)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
  • Theory:
    Making acquaintance with a theory of signs.
    A definition of a model of cognitive activity.
    An introduction of 'naive' logic.
  • Application
    An analysis of case studies in various knowledge domains.
  • Evaluation
    A comparison of the properties of formal and human interpretation.

The promise of Artificial Intelligence research that the computer will become, in matters of information processing, an equal partner of man has not been realized so far. The bottleneck is the used knowledge representation that cannot deal with the adroitness of the human mind.

In this course we study a model for knowledge representation that is cognitively based, grounded in a theory of sign, and applicable to human and artificial information processing alike. By virtue of the fundamental character of cognition and interpretation, this model can be applied uniformly to knowledge modeling in different domains. Experimental evidence from neuro-physiological research shows that human information processing may work according to the same principle.

Modeling is a subject of study in many courses in Computer Science. This course generalizes modeling in a process of conceptualization. A characteristic property of this process is the use of a subset of predicate calculus, called `naive' logic, which can be shown to be present in natural language processing, reasoning, and inductive theorem proving (by humans). It can be essential for designing efficient human-computer interfaces as well.

Conceptualization as a process is assumed by traditional modeling as well, but a specification of the events of this process is usually omitted. This course provides a model of that process (and its events) and reveals the potential of this common element of human information processing, in different domains of knowledge. The process model developed suits a computational implementation also in combination with machine learning.

J. Sarbo, J. Farkas, A. v. Breemen, Knowledge in Formation: A Computational Theory of Interpretation, ISBN:978-3-642-17088-1, Springer
Teaching formats

• 32 hours lecture
• 32 hours problem session
• 104 hours individual study period

Extra information teaching methods: This course makes use of problem directed education. Assignments involve some research and theory formation by the students. For each assignment a solution is developed in an interactive fashion in class. Assignments are representative for the tests.
Additional comments
• Weekly assignments distributed via Blackboard. Solutions submitted via drop-box on Blackboard. Deadline: 9a.m. on the day of the tutorial class (werkcollege).
• Information over grades: see Blackboard.
• Sign interpretation
• Conceptualization as a process
• Naive logic
• Syntactic language modeling
• Reasoning and mathematical modeling

• Knowledge summarization
Test information
The theory of the course is tested in two parts, in a mid-semester and an end-of-semester test. The grades for both tests must be at least 5.0. The final grade is defined by the average of the two tests (which can be 5.0 hence unsatisfactory).
This value can be increased by 0.5 if the average grade for the assignments is 7.5 or higher.
Basic knowledge in propositional logic, as well as in deductive and inductive reasoning (including mathematical induction) is required.
Required materials
J. Sarbo, J. Farkas, A. v. Breemen, Knowledge in Formation: A Computational Theory of Interpretation, ISBN:978-3-642-17088-1, Springer
Instructional modes
Course occurrence




Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3

Kies de Nederlandse taal