Supporting Group Interaction among Humans and Autonomous Agents

D. Schreckenghost, C. Martin, P. Bonasso, D. Kortenkamp, T. Milam, and C. Thronesbery

An important aspect of interaction among groups of humans and software agents is supporting collaboration among these heterogeneous agents while they operate remotely and communicate asynchronously. We are developing an architecture that supports multiple humans interacting with multiple automated control agents in such a manner. We are evaluating this architecture with a group consisting of the crew of a space-based vehicle and the automated software agents controlling the vehicle systems. Such agent interaction is modeled as a loosely coordinated group because this model minimizes agent commitment to group goals and constraints while addressing a significant portion of crew and control agent group behaviors. In this paper we give background on human interaction with space-based automation. We identify related research in multi-agent autonomous architectures and single agent human-computer interaction systems. We describe our architecture design for human-software agent groups. And we identify research issues in loosely coordinated human-software groups.

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