A Novel Machine Learning Classifier Based on a Qualia Modeling Agent (QMA)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Robert F. Mills, PhD.


This dissertation addresses a problem found in supervised machine learning (ML) classification, that the target variable, i.e., the variable a classifier predicts, has to be identified before training begins and cannot change during training and testing. This research develops a computational agent, which overcomes this problem. The Qualia Modeling Agent (QMA) is modeled after two cognitive theories: Stanovich's tripartite framework, which proposes learning results from interactions between conscious and unconscious processes; and, the Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of Consciousness, which proposes that the fundamental structural elements of consciousness are qualia. By modeling the informational relationships of qualia, the QMA allows for retaining and reasoning-over data sets in a non-ontological, non-hierarchical qualia space (QS). This novel computational approach supports concept drift, by allowing the target variable to change ad infinitum without re-training while achieving classification accuracy comparable to or greater than benchmark classifiers. Additionally, the research produced a functioning model of Stanovich's framework, and a computationally tractable working solution for a representation of qualia, which when exposed to new examples, is able to match the causal structure and generate new inferences.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number

Not in DTIC


Full text of this dissertation is available to AFIT IPs only.