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Simple trees in complex forests: Growing Take The Best by Approximate Bayesian Computation

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Schulz, E., Speekenbrink, M., & Meder, B. (2017). Simple trees in complex forests: Growing Take The Best by Approximate Bayesian Computation. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016): Recognizing and Representing Events (pp. 2531-2536). Red Hook, NY, USA: Curran.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-B427-3
How can heuristic strategies emerge from smaller building blocks? We propose Approximate Bayesian Computation as a computational solution to this problem. As a first proof of concept, we demonstrate how a heuristic decision strategy such as Take The Best (TTB) can be learned from smaller, probabilistically updated building blocks. Based on a self-reinforcing sampling scheme, different building blocks are combined and, over time, tree-like non-compensatory heuristics emerge. This new algorithm, coined Approximately Bayesian Computed Take The Best (ABC-TTB), is able to recover a data set that was generated by TTB, leads to sensible inferences about cue importance and cue directions, can outperform traditional TTB, and allows to trade-off performance and computational effort explicitly.