A Functional Analysis of Historical Memory Retrieval Bias in the Word Sense Disambiguation Task
Effective access to knowledge within large declarative memory stores is one challenge in the development and understanding of long-living, generally intelligent agents. We focus on a sub-component of this problem: given a large store of knowledge, how should an agent's task-independent memory mechanism respond to an ambiguous cue, one that pertains to multiple previously encoded memories. A large body of cognitive modeling work suggests that human memory retrievals are biased in part by the recency and frequency of past memory access. In this paper, we evaluate the functional benefit of a set of memory retrieval heuristics that incorporate these biases, in the context of the word sense disambiguation task, in which an agent must identify the most appropriate word meaning in response to an ambiguous linguistic cue. In addition, we develop methods to integrate these retrieval biases within a task-independent declarative memory system implemented in the Soar cognitive architecture and evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency in three commonly used semantic concordances.