Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

An architecture for empathic agents

As our major aim was to create Empathic Synthetic Characters, we considered some requirements for our agents, in particular properties such as personality, believability and empathy. In order to do so, we had to develop a bit more deeply the notions of empathy and believability in the architecture below.

The capability of emergent FearNot! was entirely based on the ability of the empathic agent architecture developed by the project to produce character actions that would lead to interesting stories. Thus the architecture was a key part of technical development, applying theories of appraisal and coping behaviour from Ortony, Clore and Collins (OCC) and Lazarus respectively in an emotion-driven action-selection system. Novel aspects included the use of the emotions Fear and Hope to manage character goals and the integration of language and physical actions into one action-selection mechanism.

Because of its link to the emergent narrative mechanism, development of this architecture continued right to the end of the project as part of the bottom-up engineering process required to develop. The completed architecture is a very flexible one with potential for reuse in other PSE domains than bullying: The achievement of this architecture was that it made possible the innovative unscripted approach of emergent FearNot! while retaining a generic XML-driven structure laying the basis for later reuse.

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Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS Edinburgh
United Kingdom
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