Computational Perspectives II

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Importance Of Understanding Between Teacher And Student

Note: in order to run the simulation referred to in this slide, go here, to the Java Applet version. You will be directed to download the latest version of the Java plug-in.

In the simulation to your left, three agents are involved in information exchange. Initially, the Learner only possesses one unit of the red knowledge type, while the Translator - one unit of the red and one unit of the green knowledge type. The Teacher starts off with none of the Learner's red knowledge: only one unit of the green, and four units of uniquely her own blue knowledge type.

Imagine that obtaining blue knowledge is Learner's ultimate goal. If you set off the simulation by pressing "Go," you will see that directly connecting to Teacher is not a successful strategy, since she doesn't speak Teacher's green language. Instead, try using the radio buttons at the bottom of the screen to connect Learner to Translator first, which will prepare her for the interaction with Teacher. Information will flow successfully from Translator to Learner, seeing as they start off with partial knowledge overlap (shown as the red sector of each agent's pie). Note that the time it takes for Learner to attain 95% of Teacher's blue-type information is recorded below the simulation display, once her knowledge does get up to that point.

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