Fragment completion in humans and machines

David Jacobs, Bas Rokers, Archisman Rudra, Zili Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Partial information can trigger a complete memory. At the same time, human memory is not perfect. A cue can contain enough information to specify an item in memory, but fail to trigger that item. In the context of word memory, we present experiments that demonstrate some basic patterns in human memory errors. We use cues that consist of word fragments. We show that short and long cues are completed more accurately than medium length ones and study some of the factors that lead to this behavior. We then present a novel computational model that shows some of the flexibility and patterns of errors that occur in human memory. This model iterates between bottom-up and top-down computations. These are tied together using a Markov model of words that allows memory to be accessed with a simple feature set, and enables a bottom-up process to compute a probability distribution of possible completions of word fragments, in a manner similar to models of visual perceptual completion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14 - Proceedings of the 2001 Conference, NIPS 2001
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Print)0262042088, 9780262042086
StatePublished - 2002
Event15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference, NIPS 2001 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Dec 3 2001Dec 8 2001

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Other15th Annual Neural Information Processing Systems Conference, NIPS 2001
CityVancouver, BC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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