However there is a third general model of inference

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However there is a third general model of inference that advocates an explicit rule:  accept a  representation if and only if it coheres maximally with the rest of your presentations.   Many philosophers have advocated coherence theories of inference as the best approach to  decision making though they leave  vague how to maximize coherence (see, e.g., Harman 1986,  Brink 1989, and Hurley 1989).   A precise and general model of coherence based inference can be constructed in terms of constraint satisfaction (Thagard and Verbeurgt 1998, Thagard 2000).   When we make sense of a text, picture, person or event, we need to construct an interpretation that  fits best with the available information other than alternative interpretations. The best interpretation is one that provides the most coherent account of what we want to understand.   Coherence can be understood in terms of maximal satisfaction of multiple constraints, in a manner  as summarized below:  
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1. elements are representations such as concepts, propositions, parts of images, goals,  actions and so on. 2. elements can cohere (fit together) or incohere (resist fitting together). Coherence relations  include explanation, deduction, facilitation, association and so on. Incoherence relations  include inconsistence, incompatibility, and negative association. 3. if two elements cohere, there is a positive constraint between them. If two elements  incohere, there is a negative constraint between them.     1. elements are to be divided into ones that are accepted and ones that are rejected. 2. a positive constraint between two elements can be satisfied either by accepting both of the elements or by rejecting both of the elements. 3. a negative constraint between two elements can be satisfied only by accepting one  element and rejecting the other. 4. the coherence problem consists of dividing a set of elements into accepted and rejected  sets in a way that satisfies the most constraints.   Computing coherence is a matter of maximizing constraint satisfaction and can be approximately  accomplished by several different algorithms. The most psychologically appealing models of  coherence optimisation are provided in connectionist algorithms. These are neuron-like units to  represent elements and excitatory and inhibitory links to represent positive and negative constraints.  Coherence can be measured in terms of the degree of constraint satisfaction accomplished by the  various algorithms .the computational problem of exactly maximizing coherence is very difficult, but  there are effective algorithms for approximately maximising coherence in terms of constraint 
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