Encyclopedia > Prototype

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Prototypes or prototypical instances combine the most representative attributes of a category. It is the best exemplar among the members of a category and serves as a cognitive reference point with respect to which the surrounding "poorer" instances are categorized.

A prototype can also refer to a test machine or program which is designed for demonstration purposes and is produced in order to understand the problems which may occur when a machine is put into production.

NOTE: see: Categorization, Semantics

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