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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 5 • Date Sept. 2001

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Displaying Results 1 - 13 of 13
  • Editorial - socially intelligent agents - the human in the loop

    Page(s): 345 - 348
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Socially intelligent reasoning for autonomous agents

    Page(s): 381 - 393
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    Socially intelligent agents are autonomous problem solvers that have to achieve their objectives by interacting with other similarly autonomous entities. A major concern, therefore, is with the design of the decision-making mechanism that such agents employ in order to determine which actions to take to achieve their goals. We propose a framework for making socially acceptable decisions, based on social welfare functions, that combines social and individual perspectives in a unified and flexible manner. The framework is realized in an exemplar computational setting and an empirical analysis is made of the relative performance of varying sociable decision-making functions in a range of environments. This analysis is then used to design an agent that adapts its decision-making to reflect the resource constraints that it faces at any given time. A further round of empirical evaluation shows how adding such a meta-level mechanism enhances the performance of the agent by directing reasoning to adopt different strategies in different contexts. Finally, the possibility and efficacy of making the metalevel mechanism adaptive, so that experience of past encounters can be factored into the decision-making, is demonstrated View full abstract»

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  • Evaluating humanoid synthetic agents in e-retail applications

    Page(s): 394 - 405
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    This paper presents three experiments designed to empirically evaluate humanoid synthetic agents in electronic retail applications. First, human-like agents were evaluated in a single e-retail application, a home furnishings service. The second experiment explored application dependency effects by evaluating the same human-like agents in a different e-retail application, a personalized CD service. The third experiment evaluated the effectiveness of a range of humanoid cartoon-like agents. Participants eavesdropped on spoken dialogues between a “customer” and each of the agents, which played the role of conversational sales assistants. Results showed participants expected a high level of realistic human-like verbal and nonverbal communicative behavior from the human-like agents. Overall ratings of the agents showed no significant application dependency. Further results showed participants have a preference for 3D rather than 2D cartoon-like agents and have a desire to interact with fully embodied agents View full abstract»

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  • Learning and communication via imitation: an autonomous robot perspective

    Page(s): 431 - 442
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    This paper proposes a neural network architecture designed to exhibit learning and communication capabilities via imitation. Our architecture allows a “protoimitation” behavior using the “perception ambiguity” inherent in real environments. In the perspective of turn-taking and gestural communication between two agents, new experiments on movement synchronization in an interaction game are presented. Synchronization is obtained as a global attractor depending on the coupling between agents' dynamics. We also discuss the unsupervised context of the imitation process and present new experiments in which the same architecture is able to learn perception-action associations without any explicit reinforcement. The learning is based on the ability to detect novelty or irregularities in the communication rhythm View full abstract»

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  • Active vision for sociable robots

    Page(s): 443 - 453
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    Ballard (1991) described the implications of having a visual system that could actively position the camera coordinates in response to physical stimuli. In humanoid robotic systems, or in any animate vision system that interacts with people, social dynamics provide additional levels of constraint and additional opportunities for processing economy. In this paper, we describe an integrated visual-motor system that was implemented on a humanoid robot to negotiate the robot's physical constraints, the perceptual needs of the robot's behavioral and motivational systems, and the social implications of the motor acts View full abstract»

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  • Diminishing returns of engineering effort in telerobotic systems

    Page(s): 459 - 465
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    Robotic systems range from teleoperated to fully autonomous (where no human intervention takes place). The word “telerobotic” describes robotic systems which, although guided by a human, have a degree of autonomous behavior. This paper examines the tradeoff between the increasing design and implementation effort necessary as the system moves through the continuum from teleoperated to autonomous and the amount of human interaction required. A case study of a human “shepherd” interacting with a robotic “sheepdog” which directs a robotic “sheep” is used View full abstract»

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  • I show you how I like you - can you read it in my face? [robotics]

    Page(s): 454 - 459
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    We report work on a LEGO robot that displays different emotional expressions in response to physical stimulation, for the purpose of social interaction with humans. This is a first step toward our longer-term goal of exploring believable emotional exchanges to achieve plausible interaction with a simple robot. Drawing inspiration from theories of human basic emotions, we implemented several prototypical expressions in the robot's caricatured face and conducted experiments to assess the recognizability of these expressions View full abstract»

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  • The child behind the character

    Page(s): 361 - 368
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    This paper presents a research approach for guidance and control of story characters by young children. We show that it is possible for a child to be at the same time an actor, performing a role in the story, and an engaged and empathic spectator of the overall story. To illustrate the approach, we describe Teatrix: a collaborative virtual environment for story creation by young children. In Teatrix, children control the actions of their story characters, which are implemented as intelligent agents in order to perform a certain chosen role, i.e., a villain or an hero. During the acting, children control their characters at different levels: at motor level, at behavioral level, at emotional level, and at reflection-level. In order to combine these different types of control, we introduce the concept of time-freeze in the story creation, combined with a tool for reflection, called “hot seating”. In this way, children are able to control their characters more deeply while, at the same time, feel like part of the audience of a play View full abstract»

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  • Let's talk! Socially intelligent agents for language conversation training

    Page(s): 465 - 471
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    This paper promotes socially intelligent animated agents for the pedagogical task of English conversation training for native speakers of Japanese. As a novel feature, social role awareness is introduced to animated conversational agents, that are by non-strong affective reasoners, but otherwise often lack the social competence observed in humans. In particular, humans may easily adjust their behavior depending on their respective role in a social setting, whereas their synthetic pendants tend to be driven mostly by emotions and personality. Our main contribution is the incorporation of a “social filter program” to mental models of animated agents. This program may qualify an agent's expression of its emotional state by the social contest, thereby enhancing the agent's believability as a conversational partner. Our implemented system is web-based and demonstrates socially aware animated agents in a virtual coffee shop environment. An experiment with our conversation system shows that users consider socially aware agents as more natural than agents that violate conventional practices View full abstract»

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  • Learning and interacting in human-robot domains

    Page(s): 419 - 430
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    We focus on a robotic domain in which a human acts both as a teacher and a collaborator to a mobile robot. First, we present an approach that allows a robot to learn task representations from its own experiences of interacting with a human. While most approaches to learning from demonstration have focused on acquiring policies (i.e., collections of reactive rules), we demonstrate a mechanism that constructs high-level task representations based on the robot's underlying capabilities. Next, we describe a generalization of the framework to allow a robot to interact with humans in order to handle unexpected situations that can occur in its task execution. Without using explicit communication, the robot is able to engage a human to aid it during certain parts of task execution. We demonstrate our concepts with a mobile robot learning various tasks from a human and, when needed, interacting with a human to get help performing them View full abstract»

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  • Understanding socially intelligent agents - a multilayered phenomenon

    Page(s): 349 - 360
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    The ultimate purpose with socially intelligent agent (SIA) technology is not to simulate social intelligence per se, but to let an agent give an impression of social intelligence. Such user-centred SIA technology, must consider the everyday knowledge and expectations by which users make sense of real, fictive, or artificial social beings. This folk-theoretical understanding of other social beings involves several, rather independent levels such as expectations on behavior, expectations on primitive psychology, models of folk-psychology, understanding of traits, social roles, and empathy. The framework presented here allows one to analyze and reconstruct users' understanding of existing and future SIAs, as well as specifying the levels SIA technology models in order to achieve an impression of social intelligence View full abstract»

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  • Agents-supported adaptive group awareness: smart distance and WWWaware

    Page(s): 369 - 380
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    We study how agents can facilitate and mediate interaction, communication, and cooperation among people. We propose the concepts of a smart distance and an awareness network in a distributed collaborative environment. We illustrate the architecture of an agent-mediated collaborative system - the agent-buddy system that can create a sense of group presence and, at the same time, preserve the privacy of each user. Virtual springs systems are used to model the awareness degrees among team members. Each agent makes decisions by considering multiple factors. The goal of the multi-agent team is to minimize the global awareness frustrations with respect to different kinds of tasks. Empirical studies were conducted to analyze the influence of individual behavior on global performance for various kinds of tasks View full abstract»

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  • The human in the loop of a delegated agent: the theory of adjustable social autonomy

    Page(s): 406 - 418
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    We refer to social autonomy in a collaborative relationship among agents based on delegation and help. We address the problem of adjustable autonomy. We stress in particular the role played in autonomy by: 1) the degree of “openness” of delegation; 2) the allowed initiative in (re)starting negotiation; 3) the degree and kind of control; and 4) the strength of delegation with respect to interaction. We show how the adjustability of delegation and autonomy is actually “bilateral”. Adjustment is also “bidirectional” and multidimensional. Finally, we analyze some reasons for modifying the assigned autonomy and show how the adjustment of autonomy depends: on the delegator's side; on a “crisis of trust” and vice versa; the delegee's adjustment of its own autonomy depends on some disagreement about the trust received from the delegator, and, in particular, either a higher or lower confidence in itself or in external circumstances. Some preliminary hints about necessary protocols for adjusting the interaction with agents are provided. This work is aimed at providing a theoretical framework, i.e., the conceptual instruments necessary for analyzing and understanding interaction with autonomous entities View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

The fields of systems engineering and human machine systems: systems engineering includes efforts that involve issue formulation, issue analysis and modeling, and decision making and issue interpretation at any of the lifecycle phases associated with the definition, development, and implementation of large systems.

 

This Transactions ceased production in 2012. The current retitled publication is IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Witold Pedrycz
University of Alberta