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Behavior selection is typically a "built-in" feature of behavior-based architectures and hence, not amenable to change. There are, however, circumstances where changing behavior selection strategies is useful and can lead to better performance. In this paper, we demonstrate that such dynamic changes of behavior selection mechanisms are beneficial in several circumstances. We first categorize existing behavior selection mechanisms along three dimensions and then discuss seven possible circumstances where dynamically switching among them can be beneficial. Using the agent architecture framework activation, priority, observer, and component (APOC), we show how instances of all (nonempty) categories can be captured and how additional architectural mechanisms can be added to allow for dynamic switching among them. In particular, we propose a generic architecture for dynamic behavior selection, which can integrate existing behavior selection mechanisms in a unified way. Based on this generic architecture, we then verify that dynamic behavior selection is beneficial in the seven cases by defining architectures for simulated and robotic agents and performing experiments with them. The quantitative and qualitative analyzes of the results obtained from extensive simulation studies and experimental runs with robots verify the utility of the proposed mechanisms.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:34 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2004