The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #576

Title:The Application of Cognitive Diagnosis to the Quantitative Analysis of Simple Electrical Circuits
Authors:Brna,P; Caiger,A
Date:Nov 1991
Presented:A differently formatted version of this paper is to appear in the Proceedings of ITTS'92, Montreal
Abstract:The problem of diagnosing performance errors has been of interest to both educationalists and artificial intelligence researchers for many years. Multicolumn subtraction has been a popular domain in which to experiment with the diagnosis of errors (Burton, 1982). Ohlsson has proposed an approach termed "cognitive diagnosis" which uses a form of heuristic search to find plausible sequences of actions that lead from a multicolumn subtraction task to a known solution (Ohlsson & Langley, 1988). We have developed an application of cognitive diagnosis to a different domain from the one for which it was originally developed. The system solves simple electrical circuit problems (Caiger, 1990). The re-implementation has raised a number of questions about the cognitive diagnosis technique and its general applicability. We briefly discuss these issues in terms of future utility of the technique.

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