Problem solving is understood as a process through which states of problem solving are transferred from the initial state to the goal state by applying adequate operators. Within this framework, knowledge and strategies are given as operators for the search. One of the most important points of researchers' interest in the domain of problem solving is to explain the performance of problem solving behavior based on the knowledge and strategies that the problem solver has. We call the interplay between problem solvers' knowledge/strategies and their behavior the causal relation between mental operations and behavior. It is crucially important, we believe, for novice learners in this domain to understand the causal relation between mental operations and behavior. Based on this insight, we have constructed a learning system in which learners can control mental operations of a computational agent that solves a task, such as knowledge, heuristics, and cognitive capacity, and can observe its behavior. We also introduce this system to a university class, and discuss which findings were discovered by the participants.
2008 JSAI (The Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence)