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How to build a connectionist idiot (savant).
Norris, D.G.
Cognition, 35, 277-291.
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This paper describes the development of a connectionist model of an idiot savant date calculator using a multi-layer back-propagation network. The model mimics the behaviour of idiot savant date calculators in learning to perform the date calculation task without the need either to develop arithmetical skills or to encode explicit knowledge about regularities in the structure of dates. However, the performance of the model highlights limitations on the use of back-propagation as a general purpose learning algorithm in complex problem domains. Even with a relatively simple problem like date calculation, back-propagation can only succeed when forced to take a highly structured and modular approach to learning.