How to Draw Three People in a Botanical Garden

Harold Cohen

AARON is a program designed to investigate the cognitive principles underlying visual representation. Under continuous development for fifteen years, it is now able autonomously to make "freehand" drawings of people in garden-like settings. This has required a complex interplay between two bodies of knowledge: object-specific knowledge of how people are constructed and how they move, together with morphological knowledge of plant growth: and procedural knowledge of representational strategy. AARON' s development through the events leading up to this recently-implemented knowledge-based form is discussed as an example of an "expert' s system" as opposed to an "expert system." AARON demonstrates that, given appropriate interaction between domain knowledge and knowledge of representational strategy, relatively rich representations may result from sparse information.

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