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Introducing software agents to support a Web-based collective activity

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2 Author(s)
Taurisson, N. ; Lab. d'' Informatique, Univ. du Maine, La Mans Cedex, France ; Tchounikine, P.

This paper describes a multi agent approach of the organisation of a collective activity within a pedagogical context. We consider pedagogical situations where learners have to explicitly define the articulation of their collective work and then achieve the different tasks they have defined. Our objective is to support them by taking in charge some of these tasks in a way that emphasizes an explicit analysis of organisation features. For this purpose, we propose to consider that the group of students form a multi agent system. Within this multi-(human)agent group software agents that can achieve some of the tasks are introduced. Although these agents are artificial agents, they share common properties with the other (human) agents: they have a name, their activity is to be defined following the same protocol (delegation of task) and they communicate with the other (humans or software) agents following the same communication channels (chat, email, file transfer). We present how the interactions between these different human and software cognitive agents can be modelled using the general theoretical conceptualization of human activity proposed by the activity theory, how task delegation can be used as an approach to enable students to define the software agents' behaviour and the use of theoretical works on coordination mechanisms and role conflicts to define the agents.

Published in:

Intelligent Agent Technology, 2003. IAT 2003. IEEE/WIC International Conference on

Date of Conference:

13-16 Oct. 2003