Memory-Limited U-Shaped Learning

  • Lorenzo Carlucci
  • John Case
  • Sanjay Jain
  • Frank Stephan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4005)


U-shaped learning is a learning behaviour in which the learner first learns something, then unlearns it and finally relearns it. Such a behaviour, observed by psychologists, for example, in the learning of past-tenses of English verbs, has been widely discussed among psychologists and cognitive scientists as a fundamental example of the non-monotonicity of learning. Previous theory literature has studied whether or not U-shaped learning, in the context of Gold’s formal model of learning languages from positive data, is necessary for learning some tasks.

It is clear that human learning involves memory limitations. In the present paper we consider, then, this question of the necessity of U-shaped learning for some learning models featuring memory limitations. Our results show that the question of the necessity of U-shaped learning in this memory-limited setting depends on delicate tradeoffs between the learner’s ability to remember its own previous conjecture, to store some values in its long-term memory, to make queries about whether or not items occur in previously seen data and on the learner’s choice of hypothesis space.


Data Item Inductive Inference Iterative Learning Hypothesis Space Semantic Constraint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Carlucci
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Case
    • 1
  • Sanjay Jain
    • 3
  • Frank Stephan
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Dipartimento di MatematicaUniversità di SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.School of ComputingNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  4. 4.School of Computing and Department of MathematicsNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore

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