### Abstract

Accounts of how people learn functional relationships between continuous variables have tended to focus on two possibilities: that people are estimating explicit functions, or that they are performing associative learning supported by similarity. We provide a rational analysis of function learning, drawing on work on regression in machine learning and statistics. Using the equivalence of Bayesian linear regression and Gaussian processes, we show that learning explicit rules and using similarity can be seen as two views of one solution to this problem. We use this insight to define a Gaussian process model of human function learning that combines the strengths of both approaches.

Original language | English (US) |
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Title of host publication | Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 - Proceedings of the 2008 Conference |

Pages | 553-560 |

Number of pages | 8 |

State | Published - Dec 1 2009 |

Externally published | Yes |

Event | 22nd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2008 - Vancouver, BC, Canada Duration: Dec 8 2008 → Dec 11 2008 |

### Publication series

Name | Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 - Proceedings of the 2008 Conference |
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### Other

Other | 22nd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2008 |
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Country | Canada |

City | Vancouver, BC |

Period | 12/8/08 → 12/11/08 |

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Information Systems

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## Cite this

*Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 - Proceedings of the 2008 Conference*(pp. 553-560). (Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 - Proceedings of the 2008 Conference).