Sniffy. For teaching Operant Conditioning. When given food, if it's near to it, it goes to it. When does the same actions in the same place and gets food again – or it doesn't – learns an internal model of how to get food.
- Model designed to teach operant conditioning – shaping and partial reinforcement – to psychology students. Created mainly for two reasons: financial costs and ethical challenges of using real rats in class.
- Operant conditioning: train the rat to press the bar for food. In contrary to real rats, which must be deprived of food for 24h before the experiment, Sniffy is always hungry.
- Primary/secondary reinforcers, shaping, conditioning, extinction behaviors. CRF (Continuous reinforcement), PRF (partial reinforcement).
- Written in C. Animation was created out of videos of real rats, with about 15 different actions. Actions are played randomly. It is dependent on where the rat is located.
- Rat has an internal model:
- Guess_Responses: true if he believes is in a ratio schedule; false for interval schedule.
- Guess_value: size of schedule.
- Guess_fixed: it is behaving as if the schedule is fixed.
- theory_valid: has evidence about the correctness of the schedule model.
- The position in which he was when received food and the time between going to the position and receiving it.
- Belief is proportional to reinforcement frequency.
- In its conclusion, proposes to use Artificial Neural Networks.
- Actions are random, not constructed based on the behavior of real rats.
- Parameters of the simulation come with default values but can be overwritten by students. Again, it is interesting to construct better default values based on real rats.
- Technology advances in the past 25 years make possible to use Artificial Neural Networks more easily.