Modeling the spacing effect in sequential category learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Hongjing Lu, Matthew Weiden, Alan L. Yuille


We develop a Bayesian sequential model for category learning. The sequential model updates two category parameters, the mean and the variance, over time. We define conjugate temporal priors to enable closed form solutions to be obtained. This model can be easily extended to supervised and unsupervised learning involving multiple categories. To model the spacing effect, we introduce a generic prior in the temporal updating stage to capture a learning preference, namely, less change for repetition and more change for variation. Finally, we show how this approach can be generalized to efficiently performmodel selection to decide whether observations are from one or multiple categories.