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Creativity as Cognitive design - The case of mesoscopic variables in Meta-Structures

Creativity as Cognitive design - The case of mesoscopic variables in Meta-Structures

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Published by: Mario Esposito on Jun 01, 2012
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1
Creativity asCognitive
 design
The case of mesoscopic variables inMeta-Structures
Ignazio Licata,ISEM, Institute for Scientific Methodology, Palermo, Italyignazio.licata@ejtp.infoGianfranco Minati
1,2
1
Italian Systems Society, Milan, Italy
2
Polytechnic University of Milangianfranco.minati@AIRS.it
Abstract
:Creativity is an open problem which has been differently approached by severaldisciplinessincealong time. In this contribution we consider as
creative
the
constructivist 
designanobserver does on the description levels of complex phenomena, such as the self-organized andemergent ones( e.g., Bènard rollers,Belousov-Zhabotinsky reactions,flocks, swarms, and moreradical cognitive and social emergences). We consider this design as related to the
Gestaltian
creation of a language fit for representing natural processes
and 
the observer
in an integrated 
way.
 
Organised systems, both artificialand most of the natural ones aredesigned/ modelled accordingto a
logical closed model
which masters
all
the inter-relation between their constitutive elements,and which can be described by an algorithm or a single formal model.We will show there that
logical openness
and DYSAM (Dynamical Usage of Models) arethe proper tools for those
 
phenomenawhich
cannot be
described by algorithms or by a single formal model. The strong
 
correlation between emergence and creativity suggests that an
open model
is the best way toprovide a formal definition of creativity.A specific application relates to the possibility to shape the
 
emergence of Collective Behaviours.Different modelling approaches have been introduced, basedon symbolic as well as sub-symbolic rules of interaction to
simulate
collective phenomena bymeans of computational emergence. Another approach is based on modelling collective phenomenaas sequences of Multiple Systems established by percentages of conceptually interchangeableagents taking on the
same roles at different times and different roles at the same time
. In the
 Meta-Structures
project we proposeto use mesoscopic variables as creative design, invention, goodcontinuity and imitation of the description level.In the project we propose to define thecoherenceof sequences of Multiple Systemsby usingthe values taken on by the dynamic mesoscopic clustersof its constitutiveelements, such as
 
the instantaneous number of elements having, in a flock, the
same
speed, distance from their nearest neighbours, direction and altitude. In Meta-Structures thecollective behaviour’s coherencecorresponds, for instance,to the scalar values taken byspeed,distance, direction and altitudealongtime,through statistical strategies of interpolation, quasi-periodicity, levels of ergodicity andtheir reciprocal relationship.In this case the constructivist roleof the observer is considered
creative
as it relates to
neither non-linear replication
nor
transposition
of levels of description and modelsused for artificial systems, like reductionism. Creativityratherlies in
inventing
new mesoscopic variablesable to identify coherent patterns in complex systems.As it is known, mesoscopicvariables representpartial macroscopic properties of a system by usingsome of the microscopic degrees of freedom possessed by composing elements. Such partial usageof microscopic as well as macroscopic properties allows a kindof Gestaltian continuity andimitationbetween levels of descriptions for mesoscopic modelling.Key-words: constructivist design, complex systems, dynamical usage of models, emergence, logicalopenness,mesoscopic variables, meta-structure
 
2Introduction1.Creativity and Emergence1.1 The good-continuation principle, the Bongard’s Problems (BP) and “imitation principles”1.2 Logical openness1.3 Dynamic Usage of Models2. Introduction to the Meta-Structures project2.1 The concept of Meta-Structure2.2 The project2.3 Creativity as design of suitable mesoscopic level of description.2.4 Creativity as design, invention, good continuity and imitation, of the level of description3. Generalising the approachConclusionsReferencesWeb Resources
Introduction
The observer’s cognitive system, -dynamic memory, image processing, high cognitive skills forinput representations -, carries out a plurality of choices in the world description.It leads to the creation of languages to describe the possible representation states. In particular, inthe scientific description of the Nature it is necessary to choose the proper description level as wellas the significant variables in order to outline the behaviors of the system under consideration.Such kind of languages are thus a bridge between theory and praxis, a mind-world cognitiveisomorphismaccording to Gestalt principles. For example,Bongard proposedanapproach to
visual pattern recognition
where choosinga suitable language makes possible speaking about anddescribing an object (Arnheim,1997; Bongard, 1970). Actions and rules effectively used in theworld of the observer are used to carry out cognitive models.Our approach is close to those introduced to model and simulate creativity (Creativity Machines andImagitron:Holmes,1996; Thaler, 1996a; 1996b,1994; 2005), witha further effort in the direction of intrinsic emergent phenomena (Licata, 2008a).The designing of intrinsically non observer-related erratic devices is a typical problem which can behandled by Meta-Structures(Minati, 2008a; 2009) and in dissipative quantum model of the brain(Vitiello, 2001; Minati and Vitiello, 2006).Differently from some disciplinary usages like in physics and logics, we will use the term
coherence
with the meaning of 
detecting emergence
in collective interactions asthe invariantproperties inflocks and swarms.In other words, cognitive activity responds to the emergent patterns of coherence by constructivedesigning, so drawing out a shape from the world’s noise and entropy.
1. Creativity and Emergence
The problem to model creativity is a problem deeply connected to one of the central researchtopic of current research, i.e., emergence. Usually creativity is conceived as the ability to makeemerging unusual cognitive strategies to deal with the complexity of the relation observer-observed.It is well-known how processes of emergence may be classified in two huge categories:a)Computational emergence, completely describable bya single formal model andby analgorithm;b)Intrinsic or radical emergence,non describable by a single formal model because of thedynamical complexity of interactions between system and environment.The latter, contrary to what generally assumed, is the simplest and mostdiffused in nature, e.g.,phase transitions,folding protein , cognition,socio-economic processes,and so on, see, for instance,
 
3(Licata, 2009).So, the problem of scientifically describing creativity finds its proper formulationwithin the approach to emergence. In particular, the key question is: once aprocess of intrinsicemergence-unforeseeable on the basis of any available model-has occurred, how can we analyse it,even partially, by computational tools? (Licata, 2008b).Let’s note that old Artificial Intelligence had tried and fared poorly in reducingcreativity to an“algorithmicmachinery”. What we are going to propose here is totally different. Without takinginto consideration all the creativity aspects, we will focus on a specific problem: to fix the suitablevariables in order to describe some significant features of highly complex systems.One of the greatest successesof theoretical physics at the end of the eighthcenturieswas theability to find a connection between the microscopic and macroscopic representations of perfectgases thanks to the contributions introduced by Boltzmann, Maxwell andGibbs.The study of mesoscopic systems was found much more difficult, because it is not always possible theidentification of significant variables related to the dynamics of the
 Middle Way
(Lauglin & Pines,1999; Laughlin
et al.
, 2000).In this case the more suitable cognitive strategy is to find step by step,on different spatial and temporal scales,theparameters able to allow a coherent representationof global aspects of the system.In this conceptual framework the term ‘coherent’ takes ona formalmeaning only after the observer has selected adescriptionlevel. In this sense the Meta-Structuresprojectdefines an approachto creativity based on the updating of models for complex systems asbased on the cognitive design performedby the observerupdating models used for complexsystems.
1.1 The good-continuation principle, the Bongard’s Problems (BP) and “imitation principles”
One the difficult and traditional problemin understanding the dynamic observer-observedrelationship liesin the
naïve
realism,which is to say the idea that the world with its laws andproperties already exists “out there”.AsEinstein wrote: “theories are under-determined by experimental data;they are, rather,a freecreation of human mind”.A deep analysis of such a kind of cognitive processes has been historically approached by theGestalttradition(Guberman, 2005).“The “good continuation” principle –one of the basic principles of Gestaltpsychology –assumes that perception of a drawing includesthe imaginableprocess of recreating (or imitating) the drawing(Guberman and Minati, 2007,p.121).…Imitating the way the drawing was created is a right thing to do when lookingfor a short and sensible description. …(Guberman and Minati, 2007, p.122).…From all potentially possible partitions of the whole such set of parts has to bepreferred, which has the
simplest description
. The simplicity of the descriptionreflects 1) the number of parts (the less is the number the simpler is thedescription), 2) the relations between the parts (touching, crossing, above, to theright), and 3) the simplicity of description of each of the parts…(Guberman andMinati, 2007, p.121).…In the process of perception we understand not only the right partition of theobjectbut also how successive parts should follow one another(Guberman andMinati, 2007, p.123).…Many facts support the idea that a character is not only an
image pattern
butalso a
movement pattern
….(Guberman and Minati, 2007, p.130).”In cognitive sciencethe
 Bongard Problems
are problems on
visual pattern recognition
and firstappeared in the appendix of a book published by the Russian scientist M. M. Bongard in 1967

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