Professor B. John Oommen
The aim of this keynote speech paper is to present a new philosophy to simulate Tutorial-like systems using Learning Automata (LA). The system simulates a Socratic model of learning for teaching uncertain course material by simulating the learning process for both the Teacher and a School of Students. First of all, the Teacher has to learn what teaching material has to be presented. On the other hand, each Student in the School has to learn and acquire the knowledge of the presented course material. We propose that the Tutorial-like system be composed of an ensemble of LA models, where each entity can improve its behaviour based on the response it receives from its corresponding Environment. Thus, the system also uses LA to model and simulate the learning achieved by the Teacher, the learning achieved by each Student by interacting with the Teacher, and also the learning accomplished by the School of Students by interacting between themselves. In particular, the latter interaction permits Students to enhance their learning by sharing knowledge with each other, and such a transfer of information (between the Students) is modeled by permitting the exchange of the partial or the entire action probability vector of the corresponding LA. The keynote speech will describe the model of the entire system, which could be used to teach real-life or artificial entities. Thus, for example, the system could be used as a Tutor for another software component. The paper will also consider the communication protocol between the Agents, which will enable the interaction between the Teacher and the Students, as well as between the Students themselves. Some initial results from simulating the system confirm that LA can be a powerful mechanism for simulating the different models of a Tutorial-like system.
Dr. John Oommen was born in Coonoor, India on September 9, 1953. He obtained his B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 1975. He obtained his M.E. from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India in 1977. He then went on for his M.S. and Ph. D. which he obtained from Purdue University, in West Lafayettte, Indiana in 1979 and 1982 respectively. He joined the School of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, in the 1981-82 academic year. He is still at Carleton and holds the rank of a Full Professor. His research interests include Automata Learning, Adaptive Data Structures, Statistical and Syntactic Pattern Recognition, Stochastic Algorithms and Partitioning Algorithms. He is the author of more than 240 refereed journal and conference publications, and is a Fellow of the IEEE. Dr. Oommen is on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, and Pattern Recognition.
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