Physical problem solving: Joint planning with symbolic, geometric, and dynamic constraints

TitlePhysical problem solving: Joint planning with symbolic, geometric, and dynamic constraints
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsYildirim, I, Gerstenberg, T, Saeed, B, Toussant, M, Tenenbaum, JB
Conference NameProceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Date Published07/2017
Keywordsintuitive physics, logic-geometric programming, planning, problem solving, scene understanding
Abstract

In this paper, we present a new task that investigates how peo- ple interact with and make judgments about towers of blocks. In Experiment 1, participants in the lab solved a series of prob- lems in which they had to re-configure three blocks from an initial to a final configuration. We recorded whether they used one hand or two hands to do so.  In Experiment 2, we asked participants online to judge whether they think the person in the lab used one or two hands.   The results revealed a close correspondence between participants’ actions in the lab,  and the mental simulations of participants online.  To explain par- ticipants’ actions and mental simulations, we develop a model that plans over a symbolic representation of the situation, exe- cutes the plan using a geometric solver, and checks the plan’s feasibility by taking into account the physical constraints of the scene. Our model explains participants’ actions and judgments to a high degree of quantitative accuracy.

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