Towards Flexible Teamwork
Main Article Content
Our central hypothesis is that the key to such flexibility and reusability is providing agents with general models of teamwork. Agents exploit such models to autonomously reason about coordination and communication, providing requisite flexibility. Furthermore, the models enable reuse across domains, both saving implementation effort and enforcing consistency. This article presents one general, implemented model of teamwork, called STEAM. The basic building block of teamwork in STEAM is joint intentions (Cohen & Levesque, 1991b); teamwork in STEAM is based on agents' building up a (partial) hierarchy of joint intentions (this hierarchy is seen to parallel Grosz & Kraus's partial SharedPlans, 1996). Furthermore, in STEAM, team members monitor the team's and individual members' performance, reorganizing the team as necessary. Finally, decision-theoretic communication selectivity in STEAM ensures reduction in communication overheads of teamwork, with appropriate sensitivity to the environmental conditions. This article describes STEAM's application in three different complex domains, and presents detailed empirical results.