The Role of Forgetting in Learning
Type:    Conference Proceeding
Title:    The Role of Forgetting in Learning
Author(s):    Markovitch, S.; Scott, P. D.
Date:    1988
Abstract:    This paper is a discussion of the relationship between learning and forgetting. An analysis of the economics of learning is carried out and it is argued that knowledge can sometimes have a negative value. A series of experiments involving a program which learns to traverse state spaces is described. It is shown that most of the knowledge acquired is of negative value even though it is correct and was acquired solving similar problems. It is shown that the value of the knowledge depends on what else is known and that random forgetting can sometimes lead to substantial improvements in performance. It is concluded that research into knowledge acquisition should take seriously the possibility that knowledge may sometimes be harmful. The view is taken that learning and forgetting are complementary processes which construct and maintain useful representations of experience.
Journal (full):    Proceedings of The Fifth International Conference on Machine Learning
Link (PDF):    http://cgm.cs.mcgill.ca/~athens/cs644/Projects/2004/SumedhaAhuja-EdithLaw/ml88.pdf

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