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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Problem Solving

Solving problems, a primary focus in the first years of AI research, remains a major research area. The General Problem Solver (GPS) incorporates methods that apply to any task whose problem space can be described in terms of goals, objects, relations among objects, and actions upon objects. GPS compares the current situation in problem space with the goal situation, finds a difference between them, selects an operator capable of reducing differences of that kind. and applies the operator to reach a new position in the problem space. It then repeats the process in the new situation, successively removing differences separating it from the goal. This method (means-ends analysis) is general, but each task must be described before GPS can apply it. Like the human problem solver, GPS may be successful or unsuccessful in any given case, and its search may not be efficient. GPS is described by Newel1 and Simon (1972).

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Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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