The Role of Prompting and Feedback in Facilitating Students’ Learning about Science with MetaTutor

AAAI Conferences

An experiment was conducted to test the efficacy of a new intelligent hypermedia system, MetaTutor, which is intended to prompt and scaffold the use of self-regulated learning (SRL) processes during learning about a human body system. Sixty-eight (N=68) undergraduate students learned about the human circulatory system under one of three conditions: prompt and feedback (PF), prompt-only (PO), and control (C) condition. The PF condition received timely prompts from animated pedagogical agents to engage in planning processes, monitoring processes, and learning strategies and also received immediate directive feedback from the agents concerning the deployment of the processes. The PO condition received the same timely prompts, but did not receive any feedback following the deployment of the processes. Finally, the control condition learned without any assistance from the agents during the learning session. All participants had two hours to learn using a 41-page hypermedia environment which included texts describing and static diagrams depicting various topics concerning the human circulatory system. Results indicate that the PF condition had significantly higher learning efficiency scores, when compared to the control condition. There were no significant differences between the PF and PO conditions. These results are discussed in the context of development of a fully-adaptive hypermedia learning system intended to scaffold self-regulated learning.


A Hybrid Q-Learning Sine-Cosine-based Strategy for Addressing the Combinatorial Test Suite Minimization Problem

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The sine-cosine algorithm (SCA) is a new population-based meta-heuristic algorithm. In addition to exploiting sine and cosine functions to perform local and global searches (hence the name sine-cosine), the SCA introduces several random and adaptive parameters to facilitate the search process. Although it shows promising results, the search process of the SCA is vulnerable to local minima/maxima due to the adoption of a fixed switch probability and the bounded magnitude of the sine and cosine functions (from -1 to 1). In this paper, we propose a new hybrid Q-learning sine-cosine- based strategy, called the Q-learning sine-cosine algorithm (QLSCA). Within the QLSCA, we eliminate the switching probability. Instead, we rely on the Q-learning algorithm (based on the penalty and reward mechanism) to dynamically identify the best operation during runtime. Additionally, we integrate two new operations (L\'evy flight motion and crossover) into the QLSCA to facilitate jumping out of local minima/maxima and enhance the solution diversity. To assess its performance, we adopt the QLSCA for the combinatorial test suite minimization problem. Experimental results reveal that the QLSCA is statistically superior with regard to test suite size reduction compared to recent state-of-the-art strategies, including the original SCA, the particle swarm test generator (PSTG), adaptive particle swarm optimization (APSO) and the cuckoo search strategy (CS) at the 95% confidence level. However, concerning the comparison with discrete particle swarm optimization (DPSO), there is no significant difference in performance at the 95% confidence level. On a positive note, the QLSCA statistically outperforms the DPSO in certain configurations at the 90% confidence level.


Exploring spectro-temporal features in end-to-end convolutional neural networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Triangular, overlapping Mel-scaled filters ("f-banks") are the current standard input for acoustic models that exploit their input's time-frequency geometry, because they provide a psycho-acoustically motivated time-frequency geometry for a speech signal. F-bank coefficients are provably robust to small deformations in the scale. In this paper, we explore two ways in which filter banks can be adjusted for the purposes of speech recognition. First, triangular filters can be replaced with Gabor filters, a compactly supported filter that better localizes events in time, or Gammatone filters, a psychoacoustically-motivated filter. Second, by rearranging the order of operations in computing filter bank features, features can be integrated over smaller time scales while simultaneously providing better frequency resolution. We make all feature implementations available online through open-source repositories. Initial experimentation with a modern end-to-end CNN phone recognizer yielded no significant improvements to phone error rate due to either modification. The result, and its ramifications with respect to learned filter banks, is discussed.


If dropout limits trainable depth, does critical initialisation still matter? A large-scale statistical analysis on ReLU networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Recent work in signal propagation theory has shown that dropout limits the depth to which information can propagate through a neural network. In this paper, we investigate the effect of initialisation on training speed and generalisation for ReLU networks within this depth limit. We ask the following research question: given that critical initialisation is crucial for training at large depth, if dropout limits the depth at which networks are trainable, does initialising critically still matter? We conduct a large-scale controlled experiment, and perform a statistical analysis of over $12000$ trained networks. We find that (1) trainable networks show no statistically significant difference in performance over a wide range of non-critical initialisations; (2) for initialisations that show a statistically significant difference, the net effect on performance is small; (3) only extreme initialisations (very small or very large) perform worse than criticality. These findings also apply to standard ReLU networks of moderate depth as a special case of zero dropout. Our results therefore suggest that, in the shallow-to-moderate depth setting, critical initialisation provides zero performance gains when compared to off-critical initialisations and that searching for off-critical initialisations that might improve training speed or generalisation, is likely to be a fruitless endeavour.


Eigen Values Features for the Classification of Brain Signals corresponding to 2D and 3D Educational Contents

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In this paper, we have proposed a brain signal classification method, which uses eigenvalues of the covariance matrix as features to classify images (topomaps) created from the brain signals. The signals are recorded during the answering of 2D and 3D questions. The system is used to classify the correct and incorrect answers for both 2D and 3D questions. Using the classification technique, the impacts of 2D and 3D multimedia educational contents on learning, memory retention and recall will be compared. The subjects learn similar 2D and 3D educational contents. Afterwards, subjects are asked 20 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) associated with the contents after thirty minutes (Short-Term Memory) and two months (Long-Term Memory). Eigenvalues features extracted from topomaps images are given to K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers, in order to identify the states of the brain related to incorrect and correct answers. Excellent accuracies obtained by both classifiers and by applying statistical analysis on the results, no significant difference is indicated between 2D and 3D multimedia educational contents on learning, memory retention and recall in both STM and LTM.