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OFAI-TR-2004-23 ( 178kB PDF file)

Features of Emotional Planning in Software Agents

Stefan Rank, Paolo Petta, Robert Trappl

It can be argued that emotions are an essential element of intelligence; they are certainly relevant for cognition and action in humans. We believe that software agents can benefit from explicit consideration of emotional processes in the design of their architecture. Our work extends the foundation laid in work on the Tabasco framework by addressing the relation of planning capabilities and emotional processes in agents that are resource-bounded and situated in complex (rich, social, dynamic, and partially observable) environments: planning is considered as a separate module of the agent, that can - but need not - be consulted during execution. We first introduce our approach towards integration of planning in emotional situated agents, analysing the interfaces of continuous planners and the emotion process as conceptualised by cognitive appraisal theories. Next, we cover some implemented systems that already integrate aspects of emotion theories and planning. We thus assert that situated agents can profit from, both, the more abstracted and objectified perspective of planning, and the subjective and grounded current evaluations in the emotion process; and that elements from both views are in fact required to achieve a whole architectural design. Successful synthesis of the two perspectives, however, necessitates of a deeper consolidation and integration of their functionalities, with reconceptualisations beyond what has been realised to date.

Keywords: cognitive appraisal theories of emotion, situated agent, emotion, planning, decision theory, agent architectures

Citation: Rank S., Petta P., Trappl R. (2006): Features of Emotional Planning in Software Agents, In Della Riccia G., Dubois D., Kruse R., Lenz H.-J. (eds.): Decision Theory and Multi-Agent Planning, Springer Wien/New York.