Goal-Driven Autonomy
Goal-Driven Autonomy

Suppose an agent-controlled unmanned autonomous vehicle, during the course of its logistics supply mission, encounters an injured person. Suppose further that its engineers did not specify how it should respond to such situations. Should it change its goal, albeit temporarily, to attend to this person, such as by contacting its operator or a medic? Similar conundrums may be encountered by non-embodied agents, such as those that are embedded interactive decision aids. How should agents act intelligently in these and other situations in which self-initiated behavior is desirable?

Our work on goal reasoning focuses on these questions, where our hypothesis is that agents endowed with this ability are preferred by their users/operators, at least under some conditions (e.g., after they have gained their user's trust). To date our goal reasoning research has been on a simple model called Goal-Driven Autonomy (GDA), which focuses on identifying, explaining, and responding to unexpected situations that arise in the environment, independent of whether they imply an impending plan execution failure or a new opportunity to achieve goals of interest. This gives rise to further questions, such as what methods should be used to recognize surprises, can models of the environment that explain observations be accurately inferred, when and what type of additional information is needed when low-confidence explanations are generated, when should goals be formulated in response, and how should an agent select which goals it should pursue when multiple goals have high expected utility?

We are exploring solutions to these questions while designing, developing, and testing increasingly mature goal reasoning agents in increasingly challenging environments.

Key publications

U. Jaidee, Muñoz-Avila, H., and Aha, D. W., Case-based goal-driven coordination of multiple learning agents, in International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning, Saratoga Springs, NY, 2013. Download PDF (1.84 MB)
M. Klenk, Molineaux, M., and Aha, D. W., Goal-Driven Autonomy for Responding to Unexpected Events in Strategy Simulations, Computational Intelligence, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 187-206, 2013. download PDF (1.15 MB)
J. Powell, Molineaux, M., and Aha, D. W., Active and Interactive Discovery of Goal Selection Knowledge, in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference, West Palm Beach, FL, 2011. Download PDF (1.22 MB)

Selected Publications

M. Wilson, Molineaux, M., and Aha, D. W., Domain-independent heuristics for goal formulation, Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference. AAAI Press, St. Pete Beach, FL, pp. 160-165, 2013. Download PDF (1.18 MB)
U. Jaidee, Muñoz-Avila, H., and Aha, D. W., Case-based goal-driven coordination of multiple learning agents, in International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning, Saratoga Springs, NY, 2013. Download PDF (1.84 MB)
M. Klenk, Molineaux, M., and Aha, D. W., Goal-Driven Autonomy for Responding to Unexpected Events in Strategy Simulations, Computational Intelligence, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 187-206, 2013. download PDF (1.15 MB)
U. Jaidee, Muñoz-Avila, H., and Aha, D. W., Learning and Reusing Goal-Specific Policies for Goal-Driven Autonomy, Proceedings of the Twentieth International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Lyon, France, pp. 182-195, 2012. Download PDF (769.27 KB)
U. Jaidee, Muñoz-Avila, H., and Aha, D. W., Case-Based Learning in Goal-Driven Autonomy Agents for Real-Time Strategy Combat Tasks, in Case-Based Reasoning in Computer Games: Papers from the ICCBR Workshop, London, 2011. Download PDF (590.07 KB)
U. Jaidee, Muñoz-Avila, H., and Aha, D. W., Integrated learning for goal-driven autonomy, in Proceedings of the Twenty-Second International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Barcelona, Spain, 2011. Download PDF (504.79 KB)
J. Powell, Molineaux, M., and Aha, D. W., Active and Interactive Discovery of Goal Selection Knowledge, in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference, West Palm Beach, FL, 2011. Download PDF (1.22 MB)
D. W. Aha, Molineaux, M., and Klenk, M., Goal-Driven Autonomy, 2011 NRL Review, pp. 164-166, 2011. Download PDF (356.07 KB)
H. Muñoz-Avila, Jaidee, U., Aha, D. W., and Carter, E., Goal-Driven Autonomy with Case-Based Reasoning, in Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning, Alessandria, Italy, 2010. Download PDF (425.97 KB)
M. Molineaux, Klenk, M., and Aha, D. W., Goal-Driven Autonomy in a Navy Strategy Simulation, Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. AAAI Press, Atlanta, GA, pp. 1548-1554, 2010. Download PDF (1.09 MB)