Fernand Gobet

Chunk hierarchies and retrieval structures: Comments on Saariluoma and Laine. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology (in press)



The empirical results of Saariluoma and Laine (in press) are discussed and their computer simulations are compared with CHREST, a computational model of perception, memory and learning in chess. Mathematical functions such as power functions and logarithmic functions account for Saariluoma and Laine's (in press) correlation heuristic and for CHREST very well. However, these functions fit human data well only with game positions, not with random positions. As CHREST, which learns using spatial proximity, accounts for the human data as well as Saariluoma and Laine's (in press) correlation heuristic, their conclusion that frequency-based heuristics match the data better than proximity-based heuristics is questioned. The idea of flat chunk organisation and its relation to retrieval structures is discussed. In the conclusion, emphasis is given to the need for detailed empirical data, including information about chunk structure and types of errors, for discriminating between various learning algorithms.