We describe the algorithms used by the ALEKS computer learning system for manipulating combinatorial descriptions of human learners' states of knowledge, generating all states that are possible according to a description of a learning space in terms of a partial order, and using Bayesian statistics to determine the most likely state of a student. As we describe, a representation of a knowledge space using learning sequences (basic words of an antimatroid) allows more general learning spaces to be implemented with similar algorithmic complexity. We show how to define a learning space from a set of learning sequences, find a set of learning sequences that concisely represents a given learning space, generate all states of a learning space represented in this way, and integrate this state generation procedure into a knowledge assessment algorithm. We also describe some related theoretical results concerning projections of learning spaces, decomposition and dimension of learning spaces, and algebraic representation of learning spaces.
- Pub Date:
- March 2008
- Computer Science - Discrete Mathematics;
- 37 pages, 15 figures. To appear as a chapter of J.-Cl. Falmagne, C. Doble, and X. Hu, eds., Knowledge Spaces: Applications in Education