The ability to generate novel hypotheses is an important problem-solving capacity of humans. This ability is vital for making sense of the complex and unfamiliar world we live in. Often, this capacity is characterized as an inference to the best explanation—selecting the “best” explanation from a given set of candidate hypotheses. However, it remains unclear where these candidate hypotheses originate from. In this paper we contribute to computationally explaining these origins by providing the contours of the computational problem solved when humans generate hypotheses. The origin of hypotheses, otherwise known as abduction proper, is hallmarked by seven properties: (1) isotropy, (2) open-endedness, (3) novelty, (4) groundedness, (5) sensibility, (6) psychological realism, and (7) computational tractability. In this paper we provide a computational-level theory of abduction proper that unifies the first six of these properties and lays the groundwork for the seventh property of computational tractability. We conjecture that abduction proper is best seen as a process of deep analogical inference.
Blokpoel, Mark; Wareham, Todd; Haselager, Pim; Toni, Ivan; and van Rooij, Iris
"Deep Analogical Inference as the Origin of Hypotheses,"
The Journal of Problem Solving: Vol. 11
, Article 3.
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jps/vol11/iss1/3