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Interaction among users in the context of collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) affects the efficiency of collaborative work. In most of the current CSCW application systems, users' interaction is still based on the traditional ways such as typed chat and so on. In order to enrich the interaction among users, someone has proposed to add 3D avatars into the CVEs. However, the poor behavior usually shown by the avatars controlled by users makes it difficult to achieve an acceptable level of immersion for their users. This paper provides with a new point of view, proposing an agent-based model for the study of avatar interaction in CVEs through the analysis of different interaction layers among users, and presenting a semi-autonomous avatar approach. By attaching a semi-autonomous intelligent virtual agent to the avatars, we can enhance the immersion and interaction among users.