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Studying Abductive Reasoning by Playing Mastermind [1]


Mastermind is a simple, but very clever code-breaking board game from the 70s. It is a perfect example of abductive reasoning, also called inference to the best explanation. Abduction is a method of (scientific) reasoning in which one chooses the hypothesis that best explains the available evidence. Abduction is the third type of logic inference, in addition to deductive and inductive reasoning. For example, medical doctors perform abduction when diagnosing a disease (hypothesis) given the observable symptoms (evidence). Abductive reasoning can produce false hypotheses, for example, because there might be several diseases producing similar symptoms. Doctors then go through progressively complex tests, successively decreasing the set of possible diseases matching the evidence – in principle very similar to playing Mastermind. more to: Studying Abductive Reasoning by Playing Mastermind [2]

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