The past month has seen me up to my eye-balls in spatial modeling. I’ve been blasting out models and exploring parameter spaces. I’ve been doing all of this to get an ACT-R/S paper out the door (crazy, I know). I’ve got a single model that can accomplish two different spatial tasks across two different experiments. However, fitting the two simultaneously looks impossible. Inevitably this is due to mistakes with the model and the theory, but how much of each?

Is it a serious theoretical failing that I can’t zero-parameter fit the second experiment? Given how often modelers twiddle parameters between experiments, I doubt this. However, I’m proposing an entirely new module – new functionality. The burden of proof required for such an addition pushes me towards trying to do even more – perhaps too much.

After much head-bashing (it feels so good when you stop), and discussion, I’ve decided to split the paper in two. Submit the first experiment/model ASAP, and let the model and theory issues surrounding the second percolate for a few months. While this doesn’t meet my module-imposed higher-standards, it does have the added benefit of being penetrable to readers. The first experiment was short, sweet, with a cleanly modeled explanation. It makes an ideal introduction to ACT-R/S. Adding the second experiment (with judgments of relative direction) would have been far too much for all but the most extreme spatial modeler (as many of those as there are).

I just have to try to put the second experiment out of my mind until the writing is done… easier said than done.