Introducing the Tileworld: Experimentally Evaluating Agent Architectures

Martha E. Pollack, Marc Ringuette

We describe a system called Tileworld, which consists of a simulated robot agent and a simulated environment which is both dynamic and unpredictable. Both the agent and the environment are highly parameterized, enabling one to control certain characteristics of each. We can thus experimentally investigate the behavior of various meta-level reasoning strategies by tuning the parameters of the agent, and can assess the success of alternative strategies in different environments by tuning the environmental parameters. Our hypothesis is that the appropriateness of a particular meta-level reasoning strategy will depend in large part upon the characteristics of the environment in which the agent incorporating that strategy is situated. We describe our initial experiments using Tileworld, in which we have been evaluating a version of the meta-level reasoning strategy proposed in earlier work by one of the authors [Bratman et al., 1988].

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