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A computational cognitive architecture developed by Allen Newel, John Laird, and Paul Rosenbloom in the early 1980s. It was used as the exemplar in Newell’s 1990 book Unified Theories of Cognition. It has undergone continual development from its inception in many universities and has also been commercialized for complex modeling in military simulations and intelligent agents for video games. Soar was one of the architectures reviewed in Pew & Mavor (1998). More information about this series of architectures can be found in Newell (1990).

social-organizational analysis

A way of analyzing work that focuses on how work is organized and shared across people and supporting tools. It is an analytic phase of cognitive work analysis.

socially distributed cognition

This is the theoretical position that goal-directed group activity can be understood in computational terms.

socio-organizational Church-Turing hypothesis

The recognition that organizations perform, among other things an information-processing role, and the supposition that this means we are likely to see similar structural elements and processes in the physical and social aspects of the organizations as we do in electronic computers. See:http://www.hcibook.com/alan/topics/ecology/


The investigation of social structure, social relationships, and individual social action.

software logging

instrumentation of a system such that it automatically records and time-stamps user actions and system reactions

spreading activation

This is a computational process that determines activation values over a set of interassociated cognitive structures. The spread of activation from one cognitive structure to another is determined by weighting values on associations among chunks. Activation values indicate degree of relevance to ongoing cognitive processes.


any individual or organization with an interest in the process or product of an analysis or design project


In computing, this usually refers to the inner memory of a computer at a particular point of time, but more generally it is that in the present that encapsulates all that of the past that can effect things in the future.

state transition network (STN)

A representation of dynamic systems including states (usually as labeled circles or boxes) and arcs labeled by actions that form transitions between the states.

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