AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Metacognition for Detecting and Resolving Conflicts in Operational Policies
Darsana Josyula, Bette Donahue, Matthew McCaslin, Michelle Snowden, Michael Anderson, Timothy Oates, Matthew Schmill, Donald Perlis

Last modified: 2010-07-07


Informational conflicts in operational policies cause agents to run into situations where responding based on the rules in one policy violates the same or another policy. Static checking of these conflicts is infeasible and impractical in a dynamic environment. This paper discusses a practical approach to handling policy conflicts in real-time domains within the context of a hierarchical military command and control simulated system that consists of a central command, squad leaders and squad members. All the entities in the domain function according to preset communication and action protocols in order to perform successful missions. Each entity in the domain is equipped with an instance of a metacognitive component to provide on-board/on-time analysis of actions and recommendations during the operation of the system. The metacognitive component is the Metacognitive Loop (MCL) which is a general purpose anomaly processor designed to function as a cross-domain plugin system. It continuously monitors expectations and notices when they are violated, assesses the cause of the violation and guides the host system to an appropriate response. MCL makes use of three ontologies—indications, failures and responses—to perform the notice, assess and guide phases when a conflict occurs. Conflicts in the set of rules (within a policy or between policies) manifest as expectation violations in the real world. These expectation violations trigger nodes in the indication ontology which, in turn, activate associated nodes in the failure ontology. The responding failure nodes then activate the appropriate nodes in the response ontology. Depending on which response node gets activated, the actual response may vary from ignoring the conflict to prioritizing, modifying or deleting one or more conflicting rules.


policy conflicts; metacognition; agents; expectations; anomalies; conflict resolution

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