TRACX: a recognition-based connectionist framework for sequence segmentation and chunk extraction.

French, Robert M.; Addyman, Caspar and Mareschal, Denis. 2011. TRACX: a recognition-based connectionist framework for sequence segmentation and chunk extraction. Psychological Review, 118(4), pp. 614-36. ISSN 0033-295X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Individuals of all ages extract structure from the sequences of patterns they encounter in their environment, an ability that is at the very heart of cognition. Exactly what underlies this ability has been the subject of much debate over the years. A novel mechanism, implicit chunk recognition (ICR), is proposed for sequence segmentation and chunk extraction. The mechanism relies on the recognition of previously encountered subsequences (chunks) in the input rather than on the prediction of upcoming items in the input sequence. A connectionist autoassociator model of ICR, truncated recursive autoassociative chunk extractor (TRACX), is presented in which chunks are extracted by means of truncated recursion. The performance and robustness of the model is demonstrated in a series of 9 simulations of empirical data, covering a wide range of phenomena from the infant statistical learning and adult implicit learning literatures, as well as 2 simulations demonstrating the model's ability to generalize to new input and to develop internal representations whose structure reflects that of the items in the input sequence. TRACX outperforms PARSER (Perruchet & Vintner, 1998) and the simple recurrent network (SRN, Cleeremans & McClelland, 1991) in matching human sequence segmentation on existing data. A new study is presented exploring 8-month-olds' use of backward transitional probabilities to segment auditory sequences.

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This work was made possible in part by European Commission Grant FP6-NEST-029088, French Agence Nationale de la Recherche Grant ANR-10-065-GETPIMA, and United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council Grant RES-062-23-0819 under the auspices of the Open Research Area France–United Kingdom funding initiative.


autoassociators,chunk extraction,implicit learning,recursive autoassociative memory,statistical learning

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Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2016 15:06

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 12:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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