Faculty Directory
Ken Forbus

Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


2145 Sheridan Road
Ford Room 3-313
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-7699Email Ken Forbus


Qualitative Reasoning Group

Ken Forbus' Homepage


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Ph.D. Artificial Intelligence, MIT, Cambridge, MA

S.M. Computer Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA

S.B. Computer Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

Kenneth D. Forbus is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Education at Northwestern University.  He received his degrees from MIT (Ph.D. in 1984). His research interests include qualitative reasoning, analogical reasoning and learning, spatial reasoning, sketch understanding, natural language understanding, cognitive architecture, reasoning system design, intelligent educational software, and the use of AI in interactive entertainment.  He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery.  He has received Humboldt Award and has served as Chair of the Cognitive Science Society. 

Selected Publications

  • Hinrichs, T.; Forbus, K., “X Goes First: Teaching a Simple Game through Multimodal Interaction”, Advances in Cognitive Systems, (2014)
  • Forbus, Kenneth D.; Chang, Maria D., “Using analogy to cluster hand-drawn sketches for sketch-based educational software”, AI Magazine, (2014)
  • Chang, M.D.; Wetzel, J.W.; Forbus, K.D., “Spatial reasoning in comparative analyses of physics diagrams”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), (2014)
  • Jee, Benjamin D.; Gentner, Dedre; Uttal, David H.; Sageman, Bradley; Forbus, Kenneth, “Drawing on Experience: How Domain Knowledge Is Reflected in Sketches of Scientific Structures and Processes”, Research in Science Education, (2014)
  • Forbus, K., “Qualitative Reasoning”, CRC Handbook of Computer Science, (2013)
  • Klenk, Matthew; Forbus, Ken, “Exploiting persistent mappings in cross-domain analogical learning of physical domains”, Artificial Intelligence, (2012)
  • Forbus, Kenneth D., “Vision and sketching”, Perception, (2012)
  • Forbus, Kenneth D.; Hinrichs, Thomas R., “Learning qualitative models by demonstration”, Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (2012)
  • Dehghani, M., Forbus, K., Tomai, E., Klenk, M., “An Integrated Reasoning Approach to Moral Decision-Making”, Cambridge University Press, (2011)
  • D. Gentner and K. D. Forbus, “Computational models of analogy”, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews-Cognitive Science, (2011)
  • K. D. Forbus, “Qualitative modeling”, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews-Cognitive Science, (2011)
  • TR Hinrichs;KD Forbus, “Transfer Learning through Analogy in Games”, Ai Magazine, (2011)
  • Forbus, K.; Lovett, A., “Cultural commonalities and differences in spatial problem-solving: A computational analysis”, Cognition, (2011)
  • Forbus, K.; Klenk, M.; Tomai, E.; Kim, H., “Using analogical model formulation with sketches to solve Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test problems”, Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, (2011)
  • Forbus, K. D; Barbella, D. M, “Analogical Dialogue Acts: Supporting Learning by Reading Analogies in Instructional Texts”, Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (2011)
  • P Yin, KD Forbus, J Usher, B Sageman, BD Jee, “Sketch Worksheets: A Sketch-based Educational Software System”, Proceedings of the 22nd International Florida Artificial ..., (2010)
  • K Forbus, “CogSketch: sketch understanding for cognitive science research and for education”, Spatial Cognition VII, (2010)
  • KD Forbus, “AI and Cognitive Science: The Past and Next 30 Years”, Topics in Cognitive Science, (2010)
  • D GENTNER;J LOEWENSTEIN;L THOMPSON;KD FORBUS, “Reviving Inert Knowledge: Analogical Abstraction Supports Relational Retrieval of Past Events”, Cognitive Science, (2009)
  • A LOVETT;E TOMAI;K FORBUS;J USHER, “Solving Geometric Analogy Problems Through Two-Stage Analogical Mapping”, Cognitive Science, (2009)
  • K Forbus, M Klenk, T Hinrichs, “Companion cognitive systems: Design goals and some lessons learned”, IEEE Intelligent Systems, (2009)
  • E Tomai, K Forbus, “EA NLU: Practical Language Understanding for Cognitive Modeling”, Proceedings of the 22nd International Florida Artificial ..., (2009)
  • ... , S Sachdeva, H Ekhtiari, D Gentner, K Forbus, “The Role of Cultural Narratives in Moral Decision Making”, Proceedings of the 31th ..., (2009)
  • M Klenk, K Forbus, “Analogical model formulation for transfer learning in AP Physics”, Artificial Intelligence, (2009)
  • K Lockwood, K Forbus, “Multimodal knowledge capture from text and diagrams”, Proceedings of the fifth international conference on ..., (2009)