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Autonomous Agent Control

Many goal-directed social activities not only require that co-acting individuals mutual adapt and control their movements with respect to each other, but also with respect of other non-static or autonomous agents within a task environment. In these cases, the behavioral system reflects a complex multi-agent system in which pairs or groups of individuals cooperate to control or organizing other environmental agents, including other animals, or moving objects. Think of a two students collecting up pages of a manuscript after it has been blown away by the wind, or a pair of teachers corralling a group of preschoolers on a field trip, or two or more farmers or a farmer and one or more farm dogs herding cattle or sheep from one field to another. The aim of this project is to begin to investigate the behavioral dynamics of these complex multi-agent tasks. This includes identifying how cooperating individuals learn the functional coordination modes that characterize effective and stable performance of such behavior, and what differential task constraints or changing or unpredictable environment events result in cooperating individuals switching between different or complementary coordination modes.

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Relevant Publications

Nalepka, P., Kallen, R. W., Chemero, A., Saltzman, E., & Richardson, M .J. (2017). Herd Those Sheep: Emergent multiagent coordination and behavioral mode switching. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797617692107.

Nalepka, P., Lamb, M., Kallen, R. W., Shockley, K., Chemero, A., & Richardson, M. J. (2016). A Bio-Inspired Artificial Agent to Complete a Herding Task with Novices. The Fifteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems. MA: MIT Press.

Richardson, M., Kallen, R., *Nalepka, P., Harrison, S., Lamb, M., Chemero, A., Saltzman, E. and Schmidt, R. (2016). Modeling Embedded Interpersonal and Multiagent Coordination. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Complex Information Systems (COMPLEXIS 2016), pp.155-164.

Nalepka, P., Riehm, C., Mansour, C. B., Chemero, A., & Richardson, M. J. (2015).  Investigating Strategy Discovery and Coordination in a Novel Virtual Sheep Herding Game among Dyads. In Noelle, D. C., Dale, R., Warlaumont, A. S., Yoshimi, J., Matlock, T., Jennings, C. D., & Maglio, P. P. (Eds.)Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society