Cognitive and Computational Perspectives
foreword by Herbert Simon Diagrammatic reasoning—the understanding of concepts and ideas by the use of diagrams and imagery, as opposed to linguistic or algebraic representations—not only allows us to gain insight into the way we think, but is a potential base for constructing representations of diagrammatic information that can be stored and processed by computers. Diagrammatic Reasoning brings together recent investigations into the cognitive, the logical, and particularly the computational characteristics of diagrammatic representations and the reasoning that can be done with them. Following a foreword by Herbert Simon and an introduction by the editors, twenty-seven chapters provide an overview of the recent history of the subject, survey and extend the underlying theory of diagrammatic representation, and provide numerous examples of diagrammatic reasoning (human and mechanical) that illustrate both its powers and its limitations. Each of the book's four sections (Historical and Philosophical Background, Theoretical Foundations, Cognitive and Computational Models, and Problem Solving with Diagrams) begins with an introduction by an eminent researcher. These introductions provide interesting personal perspectives as well as place the work in the proper context. Distributed for AAAI Press
Understanding diagrammatic thinking will be of special importance to those who design human-computer interfaces, where the diagrams presented on computer screens must find their way to the Mind's Eye.... In a society that is preoccupied with `Information Superhighways,' a deep understanding of diagrammatic reasoning will be essential to keep the traffic moving.