Combinatorial Cognition Project

We’re seeking grants to build a best-in-class, free Sudoku app to study how humans solve pattern problems at a fundamental level. Sudoku presents an ideal context for this research, both for its wide popularity and its combinatorial nature.

The quantity of unique puzzles is such that in an individual human solved 100 puzzles per day for 100 years, it would represent only a trivial fraction of the possible puzzles.  The popularity of Sudoku guarantees a large, ongoing sample size, that may be conducted with very low overhead.

Human Sudoku solving is of interest because human players place integers with varying degrees of confidence. Confidence levels are relevant to game AI, and the data may also give insight into human reasoning in a fundamental, pattern solving context.