Seven Aspects of Mixed-Initiative Reasoning:An Introduction to this Special Issue on Mixed-Initiative Assistants

  • Gheorghe Tecuci
  • Mihai Boicu
  • Michael T. Cox


Mixed-initiative assistants are agents that interact seamlessly with humans to extend their problem-solving capabilities or provide new capabilities. Developing such agents requires the synergistic integration of many areas of AI, including knowledge representation, problem solving and planning, knowledge acquisition and learning, multiagent systems, discourse theory, and human-computer interaction. This paper introduces seven aspects of mixed-initiative reasoning (task, control, awareness, communication, personalization, architecture, and evaluation) and discusses them in the context of several state-of-the-art mixed-initiative assistants. The goal is to provide a framework for understanding and comparing existing mixed-initiative assistants and for developing general design principles and methods.