Diagrammatic Reasoning: Cognitive and Computational Perspectives
Diagrammatic reasoning—the understanding of concepts and ideas by the use of diagrams and imagery, as opposed to linguistic or algebraic representations—not only allows us to gain insight into the way we think, but is a potential base for constructing representations of diagrammatic information that can be stored and processed by computers.
Diagrammatic Reasoning brings together nearly two dozen recent investigations into the cognitive, the logical, and particularly the computational, characteristics of diagrammatic representations and the reasoning that can be done with them. Following a foreword by Herbert Simon (coauthor of one of the most influential papers on reasoning with diagrams which is included here), and an introduction by the editors, chapters provide an overview of the recent history of the subject, survey and extend the underlying theory of diagrammatic representation, and provide numerous examples of diagrammatic reasoning (human and mechanical) that illustrate both its powers and its limitations. Each of the book's four sections begins with an introduction by an eminent researcher who provides an interesting personal perspective while also placing the work in proper context.