Jean-louis Dessalles - Online papers

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Keys

SIMPLICITY:Simplicity Theory
EVOL.&LANG.:Evolutionary origins of language and of cognition
NARRATIVE:Cognitive modelling of interest in conversational narratives
ARGUMENTATION:Cognitive modelling of relevance in argumentative discussions
MEANING:Cognitive modelling of meaning
CONVERSATION:Cognitive modelling of spontaneous conversation
EMOTION:Cognitive modelling of emotional intensity
LEARNING:Cognitive modelling of concept learning
CONSCIOUSNESS:Qualia cannot be epiphenomenal (but the expl. gap is intact)
EMERGENCE:Emergence as complexity drop
EVOL.&INFORM.:Evolution and information

Selected topic: Simplicity Theory

Please visit ----------->    simplicitytheory.science

Simplicity Theory says that interesting situations must appear abnormally simple. This means that they are less complex (in the Kolmogorov sense) than expected. This led me to define subjective probability as p = 2–U, where U represents unexpectedness.

Please visit >>>>> simplicitytheory.science

Watch

Exposé pour le centenaire de Claude Shannon à l’Institut Henri Poincarré.
Information, simplicité et pertinence. (in French)
Talk at COGSCI 2015
Probability judgments rely on complexity assessments

My 20 papers about SIMPLICITY (but see my other papers)

  1. Saillenfest, A., Dessalles, J.-L. & Auber, O. (2016). Role of simplicity in creative behaviour: The case of the poietic generator. In F. Pachet, A. Cardoso, V. Corruble & F. Ghedini (Eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC-2016), 33-40. Paris, France: Sony CSL.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
    We propose to apply Simplicity Theory (ST) to model interest in creative situations. ST has been designed to describe and predict interest in communication. Here we use ST to derive a decision rule that we apply to a simplified version of a creative game, the Poietic Generator. The decision rule produces what can be regarded as an elementary form of creativity. This study is meant as a proof of principle. It suggests that some creative actions may be motivated by the search for unexpected simplicity.

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  2. Saillenfest, A. & Dessalles, J.-L. (2015). Some probability judgments may rely on complexity assessments. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2069-2074. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
    Human beings do assess probabilities. Their judgments are however sometimes at odds with probability theory. One possibility is that human cognition is imperfect or flawed in the probability domain, showing biases and errors. Another possibility, that we explore here, is that human probability judgments do not rely on a weak version of probability calculus, but rather on complexity computations. This hypothesis is worth exploring, not only because it predicts some of the probability ‘biases’, but also because it explains human judgments of uncertainty in cases where probability calculus cannot be applied. We designed such a case in which the use of complexity when judging uncertainty is almost transparent.

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    Video of the talk
  3. Saillenfest, A. & Dessalles, J.-L. (2014). Can Believable Characters Act Unexpectedly? Literary & Linguistic Computing, 29 (4), 606-620.
    Keywords: NARRATIVE SIMPLICITY
    Unexpectedness is a major factor controlling interest in narratives. Emotions, for instance, are felt intensely if they are associated with unexpected events. The problem with generating unexpected situations is that either characters, or the whole story, are at risk of being no longer believable. This issue is one of the main problems that make story design a hard task. Writers face it on a case by case basis. The automatic generation of interesting stories requires formal criteria to decide to what extent a given situation is unexpected and to what extent actions are kept believable. This paper proposes such formal criteria and makes suggestions concerning their use in story generation systems.

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  4. Dessalles, J.-L. (2013). Algorithmic simplicity and relevance. In D. L. Dowe (Ed.), Algorithmic probability and friends - LNAI 7070, 119-130. Berlin, D: Springer Verlag.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY NARRATIVE
    The human mind is known to be sensitive to complexity. For instance, the visual system reconstructs hidden parts of objects following a principle of maximum simplicity. We suggest here that higher cognitive processes, such as the selection of relevant situations, are sensitive to variations of complexity. Situations are relevant to human beings when they appear simpler to describe than to generate. This definition offers a predictive (i.e. refutable) model for the selection of situations worth reporting (interestingness) and for what individuals consider an appropriate move in conversation.

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  5. Saillenfest, A. & Dessalles, J.-L. (2013). Using unexpected simplicity to control moral judgments and interest in narratives. In M. A. Finlayson, B. Fisseni, B. Löwe & J. C. Meister (Eds.), 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative - OASIcs vol. 32, 214-227. Saarbrücken, Germany: .
    Keywords: NARRATIVE SIMPLICITY
    The challenge of narrative automatic generation is to produce not only coherent, but interesting stories. This study considers the problem within the Simplicity Theory framework. According to this theory, interesting situations must be unexpectedly simple, either because they should have required complex circumstances to be produced, or because they are abnormally simple, as in coincidences. Here we consider the special case of narratives in which characters perform actions with emotional consequences. We show, using the simplicity framework, how notions such as intentions, believability, responsibility and moral judgments are linked to narrative interest.

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  6. Saillenfest, A. & Dessalles, J.-L. (2012). Role of kolmogorov complexity on interest in moral dilemma stories. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles & R. Cooper (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 947-952. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
    Keywords: NARRATIVE SIMPLICITY
    Several studies have highlighted the combined role of emotions and reasoning in the determination of judgments about morality. Here we explore the influence of Kolmogorov complexity in the determination, not only of moral judgment, but also of the associated narrative interest. We designed an experiment to test the predictions of our complexity-based model when applied to moral dilemmas. It confirms that judgments about interest and morality may be explained in part by discrepancies in complexity. This preliminary study suggests that cognitive computations are involved in decision-making about emotional outcomes.

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  7. Dessalles, J.-L. (2011). Ex-Post Algorithmic Probability. Technical Report Telecom-ParisTech 2011-D-009.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
    Algorithmic probability is traditionally defined by considering the output of a universal machine fed with random programs. This definition proves inappropriate for many practical applications where probabilistic assessments are spontaneously and instantaneously performed. In particular, it does not tell what aspects of a situation are relevant when considering its probability ex-post (after its occurrence). As it stands, the standard definition also fails to capture the fact that simple, rather than complex outcomes are often considered improbable, as when a supposedly random device produces a repeated pattern. More generally, the standard algorithmic definition of probability conflicts with the idea that entropy maximum corresponds to states that are both complex (unordered) and probable. We suggest here that algorithmic probability should rather be defined as a difference in complexity. We distinguish description complexity from generation complexity. Improbable situations are situations that are more complex to generate than to describe. We show that this definition is more congruent with the intuitive notion of probability.

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  8. Dessalles, J.-L. (2011). Simplicity Effects in the Experience of Near-Miss. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher & T. F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 408-413. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY EMOTION
    Near-miss experiences are one of the main sources of intense emotions. Despite people's consistency when judging near-miss situations and when communicating about them, there is no integrated theoretical account of the phenomenon. In particular, individuals' reaction to near-miss situations is not correctly predicted by rationality-based or probability-based optimization. The present study suggests that emotional intensity in the case of near-miss is in part predicted by Simplicity Theory.

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    Slides
  9. Dessalles, J.-L. (2010). Have you anything unexpected to say? The human propensity to communicate surprise and its role in the emergence of language. In A. D. M. Smith, M. Schouwstra, B. de Boer & K. Smith (Eds.), The evolution of language - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference (Evolang8 - Utrecht), 99-106. Singapore: World Scientific.
    Keywords: EVOL.&LANG. SIMPLICITY
    Individuals devote one third of their language time to mentioning unexpected events. We try to make sense of this universal behaviour within the Costly Signalling framework. By systematically using language to point to the unexpected, individuals send a signal that advertises their ability to anticipate danger. This shift in display behaviour, as compared with typical displays in primate species, may result from the use by hominins of artefacts to kill.

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  10. Dessalles, J.-L. (2010). Emotion in good luck and bad luck: predictions from Simplicity Theory. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 1928-1933. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY EMOTION
    The feeling of good or bad luck occurs whenever there is an emotion contrast between an event and an easily accessible counterfactual alternative. This study suggests that cognitive simplicity plays a key role in the human ability to experience good and bad luck after the occurrence of an event.

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    Slides
  11. Dimulescu, A. & Dessalles, J.-L. (2009). Prédire l'intérêt dans la communication événementielle. In N. Maudet, P.-Y. Schobbens & M. Guyomard (Eds.), Modèles formels de l'interaction (MFI-09) - Actes des cinquièmes journées francophones, 125-134. Lannion: .
    Keywords: NARRATIVE SIMPLICITY
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  12. Dimulescu, A. & Dessalles, J.-L. (2009). Understanding narrative interest: Some evidence on the role of unexpectedness. In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 1734-1739. Amsterdam, NL: Cognitive Science Society.
    Keywords: NARRATIVE SIMPLICITY
    This study is an attempt to measure the variations of interest aroused by conversational narratives when definite dimensions of the reported events are manipulated. The results are compared with the predictions of the Complexity Drop Theory, which states that events are more interesting when they appear simpler, in the Kolmogorov sense, than anticipated.

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  13. Dessalles, J.-L. (2009). Destin ou coïncidences ? Cerveau & Psycho, 35, 18-21.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
    Deux présidents emblématiques des États-Unis ont été assassinés à 1OO ans d'intervalle et leur histoire présente plusieurs points communs. Pourquoi notre cerveau est-il irrésistiblement attiré par de telles coïncidences, y cherchant des marques du destin ?

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  14. Dessalles, J.-L. (2008). La pertinence et ses origines cognitives - Nouvelles théories. Paris: Hermes Science.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY CONVERSATION
    Les conversations quotidiennes constituent une arène permanente où se joue l'essentiel de notre existence sociale. Dans ce jeu proprement humain, la pertinence est le principal critère. Nous possédons tous une intuition précise de ce qui rend une histoire ou un argument pertinent et nous sommes hypersensibles aux défauts de pertinence.

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    Accès au livre
  15. Dessalles, J.-L. (2008). Coincidences and the encounter problem: A formal account. In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2134-2139. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
    Individuals have an intuitive perception of what makes a good coincidence. Though the sensitivity to coincidences has often been presented as resulting from an erroneous assessment of probability, it appears to be a genuine competence, based on non-trivial computations. The model presented here suggests that coincidences occur when subjects perceive complexity drops. Co-occurring events are, together, simpler than if considered separately. This model leads to a possible redefinition of subjective probability.

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    Slides
  16. Dessalles, J.-L. (2007). Spontaneous assessment of complexity in the selection of events. Technical Report ParisTech-ENST 2007D011.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
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  17. Dessalles, J.-L. (2007). Complexité cognitive appliquée à la modélisation de l'intérêt narratif. Intellectica, 45 (1), 145-165.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY NARRATIVE
    Nous définissons la complexité cognitive comme une notion dérivée de la complexité de Kolmogorov. Nous montrons qu'une partie importante de ce qui retient l'intérêt des êtres humains, notamment lors de la sélection des événements spontanément signalés ou rapportés, peut être prédite par un saut de complexité cognitive. Nous évaluons les conséquences de ce modèle pour l'étude de la pertinence conversationnelle.

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  18. Dessalles, J.-L. (2006). Intérêt conversationnel et complexité : le rôle de l'inattendu dans la communication spontanée. Psychologie de l'Interaction, , 259-281.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY NARRATIVE
    La conversation humaine agit comme un filtre extraordinairement sélectif : seule une infime partie des situations que les locuteurs ont vécues ou ont pu connaître sera jugée digne d'être rapportée aux interlocuteurs. L'un des objectifs de la recherche sur le langage consiste à rechercher des critères permettant de prévoir si une situation sera perçue comme suffisamment « intéressante » si elle est mentionnée en conversation. Nous montrons ici que le caractère inattendu de certaines situations, qui conduit souvent à ce qu'elles soient rapportées en conversation, est lié à des écarts de complexité, et que ce phénomène peut s'expliquer dans le cadre plus général de la théorie « shannonienne » de la communication événementielle.

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  19. Dessalles, J.-L. (2006). A structural model of intuitive probability. In D. Fum, F. Del Missier & A. Stocco (Eds.), Proceedings of the seventh International Conference on Cognitive Modeling, 86-91. Trieste, IT: Edizioni Goliardiche.
    Keywords: SIMPLICITY
    Though the ability of human beings to deal with probabilities has been put into question, the assessment of rarity is a crucial competence underlying much of human decision-making and is pervasive in spontaneous narrative behaviour. This paper proposes a new model of rarity and randomness assessment, designed to be cognitively plausible. Intuitive randomness is defined as a function of structural complexity. It is thus possible to assign probability to events without being obliged to consider the set of alternatives. The model is tested on Lottery sequences and compared with subjects' preferences.

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  20. Bonabeau, E. & Dessalles, J.-L. (1997). Detection and emergence. Intellectica, 25 (2), 85-94.
    Keywords: EMERGENCE SIMPLICITY
    Two different conceptions of emergence are reconciled as two instances of the phenomenon of detection. In the process of comparing these two conceptions, we find that the notions of complexity and detection allow us to form a unified definition of emergence that clearly delineates the role of the observer.

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