Abstract: We describe several principles for designing Actor-AgentCommunities (AAC) as collectives of autonomous problem solving entities (software agents and human experts) that self-organize and collaborate at solving complex problems. One of the main distinctive aspects of the AAC is their ability to integrate in a meaningful way the expertise and reasoning of humans with different information processing algorithms performed by software agents, without requiring a unique and complete description of the problem and solution spaces.
Abstract: This research report discusses human group characteristics as a stepping stone to study human-agent team characteristics and dynamics. A human-agent team, or so called actor-agent team (AAT) is a group of humans and agents who interact in a coherent and coordinated way towards a common goal. The concept of AATs relates to actor-agentcommunities (AACs), as AACs are groups of humans and artificial systems (socio-technical information systems) that intimately work together to achieve a common goal (i.e. solve a problem) (Iacob et al., 2009).
AATs are envisioned to increase human performance in (among others) safety and security domains, emergency management, and traffic control. However, the concept of AATs brings many challenges. Besides the realisation of agents as teammembers, and the realisation of real-world AATs, the interaction between agents and humans is a challenge. If agents are to become (task performing) group members, team membership requires much from agents regarding human-agent interaction. How should agents be designed to become teammembers in an AAT? How can humans best interact with agents? When do trust an agent, or rely on it?
This document discusses human group characteristics to draw implications for AAT dynamics. This document is a follow-up of Gouman et al. (2008) in which stages of team development, group membership and cohesion, subgroups, norms, roles, status, and leadership were discussed. The current report first addresses communication and decision making, after which team performance and implications for AATs are discussed.
Abstract: The DECIS Lab conducts research on Actor-AgentCommunities, especially in the
domain of crisis response and management. The ICIS research program among others
hosts the SEAT (Sustained Effectiveness of Actor Agents Teams) research project in
which the researchers Dr. Niek Wijngaards, Dr. Masja Kempen and Dr. Manuela Viezzer
focus on the effectiveness over time of humans, agents, and teams composed thereof, in
difficult circumstances. Within this research project, theories and models are developed
which need to be tested in crisis situations. Decided was that ultimately a scenario
simulation toolkit is needed and that my project would explore and formulate
requirements for the use of scenarios and specifications of scenario aspects.
This report describes the results of this project. The scenario specification approach is
outlined and the (atomic) actions are described and illustrated in some detail.
Furthermore, this report describes the whole progress of the project. The student also
gives his personal evaluation about the project and the relevance to his education.
This graduation has several topics in which the student’s tasks and contributions lay.
These are each handled in detail further in this report.
• The student has created the game world concept which was based on the results
from the SES project. This resulted in a RDF specification. Details of these
specifications are found in chapter two.
• The student created several scenarios for a select number of researchers. These
scenarios have the intent to validate the researchers’ research and provide them
with some meaningful results. The student also created those scenarios in Game
, which functions as a simulation of the simulator.
• For future use, the student also created guidelines for scenario creation. These
topics can be found in chapter three.
• The student created a requirements document for the development phase of the
scenario toolkit. These requirements can be found in chapter four.
• Most importantly, the student also participated in the development process of the
RISK simulator toolkit, which resulted in consistency in design and construction
and that the original game world concept only received some limited changes.
This resulted in the development of the current version of the toolkit. This topic is
handled in chapter five of this document.
Abstract: In actor-agent teams human and artificial entities interact and cooperate in order to enhance and augment their individual and joint cognitive ergonomic and problem solving capabilities. Also actor-agentcommunities can benefit from ‘ambient cognition’, a novel further reaching concept than ambient intelligence that hardly takes into account the resource limitations and capabilities changing over time of both humans and agents in collaborative settings. The Dutch Companion project aims at the
realization of an agent that takes advantage of the ambient cognition concerning actor-agent system dynamics such that natural emotion-sensitive interaction with an actor over a longer period of time can be sustained. We elaborate on our vision of
pursuing ambient cognition within actor-agent systems and present the plans and expected results of the Dutch Companion project.
Abstract: In actor-agent teams human and artiﬁcial entities interact and cooperate in order to enhance and augment their individual and joint cognitive ergonomic and problem solving capabilities. Also actor-agentcommunities can beneﬁt from ‘ambient cognition’, a novel further reaching concept than ambient intelligence that hardly takes into account the resource limitations and capabilities changing over time of both humans and agents in collaborative settings. The Dutch Companion project aims at the realization of an agent that takes advantage of the ambient cognition concerning actor-agent system dynamics such that natural social and emotion-sensitive interaction with an actor over a longer period of time can be sustained. We elaborate on our vision of pursuing ambient cognition within actor-agent systems and brieﬂy describe the goals of the Dutch Companion project.
Abstract: The increasing complexity of our world demands new perspectives on the role of technology in human decision making. We need new technology to cope with the increasingly complex and information-rich nature of our modern society. This is particularly true for critical environments such as crisis management and traffic management, where humans need to engage in close collaborations with artificial systems to observe and understand the situation and respond in a sensible way. The book Interactive Collaborative Information Systems addresses techniques that support humans in situations in which complex information handling is required and that facilitate distributed decision-making. The theme integrates research from information technology, artificial intelligence and human sciences to obtain a multidisciplinary foundation from which innovative actor-agent systems for critical environments can emerge. It emphasizes the importance of building actor-agentcommunities: close collaborations between human and artificial actors that highlight their complementary capabilities in situations where task distribution is flexible and adaptive. This book focuses on the employment of innovative agent technology, advanced machine learning techniques, and cognition-based interface technology for the use in collaborative decision support systems.
Abstract: Engineering complex highly-interactive systems consisting of both human and artiﬁcial agents (actor-agentcommunities) requires insight in the use and role of concepts by individuals and in interaction between individuals (both human and artiﬁcial). In this philosophically-oriented paper, the distinction between concept kinds is found to depend on processing differences for these kinds, rather than content-based or structural differences. In addition, this leads to the characterization of a new concept kind: affordance concepts. Our next step is to a) experiment with acquisition of affordance concepts and b) investigate the role of affordances for strategic management of teams.
Abstract: The main objective of this document is to bring together our assumptions, models, definitions and other findings regarding actor-agent teams, and effectiveness thereof. As such, this whitepaper by the SEAT project contains our findings on sustained effectiveness of actor-agent teams of the first half of ICIS research programme. The foundations of our research reported herein are formed by three main topics: actor-agent teams, effectiveness, and methodology. This document contains material to gain insight in the width and scope of actor-agentcommunities, and should be treated as a starting point for additional research and explorations. These demarcations are necessary to restrict the amount of information and effort to manageable proportions.