Dynamic Similarity: The Zany World of Processing Similarity

Mark Keane
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Dublin,
Trinity College,

Abstract It has sometimes been pointed out that the processes which shape the representation of items in a similarity judgement are just as important as the items themselves; yet, less has been said about such representation-forming processes. In this talk, I advance the view that any part of the wider processing context can contribute to the perceived similarity of two items; the so-called Dynamic Similarity perspective. This view is supported by two sample psychological demonstrations in the judgement of similarity between (i) sentential descriptions of events and (ii) perceptual patterns that have been physically manipulated. Finally, I provide one computational instance of the idea from the area of case-based reasoning. The aim of the talk is really to highlight a way of thinking about similarity, given that a computational level account of the phenomenon seems to be some way off.