Mixed-Initiative Agent Team Formation, Tasking and Management

Mark H. Burstein and David E. Diller

Our interest is in the development of mixed-initiative interaction techniques to support heterogeneous humanagent organizations. If software agents are to become more commonplace, they will need to fit into human organizations at many levels, and users will need to direct and control teams of standalone agents and other humans supported by agent assistants. We have developed a demonstration of this kind of situation called MIATA (Mixed-Initiative Agent Team Administration) in collaboration with a group of other DARPA researchers. The demonstration scenario, based on the historical record of the U.S. effort to provide relief to Honduras after Hurricane Mitch, shows mixed human/agent teams forming to respond to the disaster. It illustrates several key ways in which intent reasoning must play a role in the functioning of agents that operate in such an organizational environment. In particular, we discuss the process of interactive team formation and a mechanism for dynamic information sharing among agents, each tasked by users to collaborate on teams.

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