Putting the magic in the machine since 1980.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Jiang Receives PhD

The other Phd graduate this summer is Hong Jiang and her thesis is

  • Hong Jiang. From Rational to Emotional Agents. University of South Carolina, 2007.
    To date, most research on multiagent systems has focused on rational utilitymaximizing agents. However, theories show that emotions have a strong effect on human~s physical states, motivations, beliefs, and desires. The details have not been explicated clearly so far. In artificial intelligence, emotions have begun to receive more attention, but mostly in human-robot/computer interaction. The research on applying emotions to agents~ decision-making is still very limited. Can agents be intelligent without emotions? We believe that, whether for humanlike or non-human-like agents, the effect of emotions on decision-making cannot be ignored, since agents with high emotional quotients (EQs) can be built to have better performance in complex dynamic environments than purely rational agents. This research focuses on the effects of emotions on decision-making. Taking into account the incompleteness of emotion theories and emotional differences among individuals, I describe EBDI, a common architecture for emotional agents, which specifies a separate emotion mechanism within an agent, instead of trying to model emotion mechanisms to reflect the reasoning process specifically, like most researchers have done. It reflects the practical reasoning process, and one can select and apply part of an emotion theory into the architecture as needed. Sample agents in Tileworld are presented and the results show that an EBDI agent can have better performance than traditional BDI agents. To apply EBDI in negotiation, a plug-in is designed, which modifies the OCC model, a standard model for emotion synthesis, to generate emotions. Considering the possibility of incorporating emotions into negotiation, I generate EWOD (EmotionalWorth- Oriented Domain), which requires numerical emotions. Thus, a mapping from 22 OCC emotions to 3-dimension numerical PAD emotions is given. Finally, I describe how PAD emotions affect the negotiation strategy and provide an evaluation which shows that it can be used to implement emotional agents that mimic human emotions during negotiation. Thus we can design high EQ agents for negotiation according to specific design purposes. Since negotiation is used widely in many different domains, this research, based on a general process of negotiation, can also be widely applied to other areas.

Congratulations are also in order for Hong. Her research is highly innovative, crossing boundaries between computer science, cognitive science, and Sociology. She has shown how simulated emotions can be incorporated into negotiating agents for the betterment of the whole agent society, as well as how agents can be made to behave like normal irrational humans. Check our her extensive list of papers. She will be joining the faculty at Benedict College.