Knowledge is a network
The structure of knowledge can be better described in terms of a network, as in a semantic network, is the point of departure of the lab's work. Meaning of any concept that we harbour or any activity that we do as cognitive agents is generated out of links between concepts or activities. No node in such a network is meaningful on its own right, but only by virtue of the links the node has with the neighbouring nodes. Nothing will be considered a bit of information unless it is linked to others.
We use this framework to study the problem of conceptual change in both ontogeny (individual cognitive development) and phylogeny (history of ideas). By studying the nature of changes in the knowledge network we wish to capture the dynamics of knowledge, and each snapshot of the network at any given time as the structure of knowledge. This is how we are approaching the problem of structure and dynamics of knowledge.
In concrete terms we undertake research and development work in the gnowledge laboratory, where we are currently investigating on the following topics.
- Developing GNOWSYS, a node oriented computing system (an official GNU project.).
- Studying the nature of dependency relations in a cognitive system (working paper).
- Using dependency relation to develop a unique roadmap of all knowledge (this project is now online at www.gnowledge.org.) This will eventually develop as an atlas of knowledge. This is our version of knowledge cartography.
- Refined concept mapping for science education, for teaching, learning and assessment.
- Testing the hypothesis thatrigor develops by minimal use of relation types, and not by refining the concept. This is also the basis of our cognitive development model where agents begin with procedural, implicit, modular knowledge and develop declarative, explicit and non-modular knowledge.
- A characterization of scientific knowledge as procedurally re-described reproducible knowledge.