A Computational Model of Skill Acquisition

Unknown author (1973-08-01)

This thesis confronts the nature of the process of learning an intellectual skill, the ability to solve problems efficiently in a particular domain of discourse. The investigation is synthetic; a computational performance model, HACKER, is displayed. Hacker is a computer problem-solving system whose performance improves with practice. HACKER maintains performance knowledge as a library of procedures indexed by descriptions of the problem types for which the procedures are appropriate. When applied to a problem, HACKER tries to use a procedure from this "Answer Library". If no procedure is found to be applicable, HACKER writes one using more general knowledge of the problem domain and of programming techniques. This new program may be generalized and added to the Answer Library.