A Case-Based Reasoning System for Subjective Assessment

William M. Bain

People tend to improve their abilities to reason about situations by amassing experiences in reasoning. Resorting to previous instances of similar situations for guidance is known as case-based reasoning. This paper presents JUDGE, a computer model of judges who sentence criminals. The task is viewed as one in which people learn empirically from the process of producing relative assessments of input situations with respect to several concerns, with little external feedback. People can perform such subjective tasks by at least trying to keep their assessments consistent. For assessment tasks, this reasoning style involves comparing a previous similar situation with an input one, and then extracting an assessment for the new input, based on both the assessment previously assigned to the older example, and differences found between them. The system also stores input items to reflect their relationships to situations already contained in memory.

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