Linking Symbolic and Subsymbolic Computing
Hendler, James A.
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The growing interest in integrating symbolic and subsymbolic computing techniques is manifested by the increasing number of hybrid systems that employ both methods of processing. This paper presents an analysis of some of these systems with respect to their symbolic/subsymbolic interactions. Then, a general purpose mechanism for linking symbolic and sub symbolic computing is introduced. Through the use of programming abstractions, an intermediary agent called a supervisor is created and bound to each subsymbolic network. The role of a supervisor is to monitor and control the network behavior and interpret its output. Details of the subsymbolic computation are hidden behind a higher level interface, enabling symbolic and subsymbolic components to interact at corresponding conceptual levels. Module level parallelism is achieved because subsymbolic modules execute independently. Methods for construction of hierarchical systems of subsymbolic modules are also provided.