A 'companion' ECA with planning and activity modelling

M. O. (Marc) Cavazza, Cameron Smith, Daniel Charlton, Li Zhang, Markku Turunen, Jaakko Hakulinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In this paper, we describe the development of an Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) implementing the concept of a companion, i.e. an agent supporting the persistent representation of user activities and dialogue-based communication with the user. This first experiment implements a Health and Fitness companion aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle. The system operates by generating an 'ideal' plan of daily activities from background knowledge and dialogue interaction with the user. This plan then becomes an activity model, which will later be instantiated by reports from the user and analysed by the agent from the perspective of initial objectives. At various stages of the day, the plan can still be adapted through further dialogue. The agent is embodied using a wireless rabbit (Nabaztag™) device situated in the user's home. After describing the planning component, based on Hierarchical Task Networks (HTN) and the spoken dialogue system, we present a working example from the system illustrating its behaviour through various phases of user activity generation, updating and re-planning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the seventh international conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems
PublisherACM
Pages1281-1284
Volume3
ISBN (Print)978098173812X
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event7th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems - Estoril, Portugal
Duration: 12 May 200816 May 2008

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
CountryPortugal
CityEstoril
Period12/05/0816/05/08

Bibliographical note

In this paper, we describe the development of an Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) implementing the concept of a companion, i.e. an agent supporting the persistent representation of user activities and dialogue-based communication with the user. This first experiment implements a Health and Fitness companion aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle. The system operates by generating an 'ideal' plan of daily activities from background knowledge and dialogue interaction with the user. This plan then becomes an activity model, which will later be instantiated by reports from the user and analysed by the agent from the perspective of initial objectives. At various stages of the day, the plan can still be adapted through further dialogue. The agent is embodied using a wireless rabbit (Nabaztag™) device situated in the user's home. After describing the planning component, based on Hierarchical Task Networks (HTN) and the spoken dialogue system, we present a working example from the system illustrating its behaviour through various phases of user activity generation, updating and re-planning.

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  • Cite this

    Cavazza, M. O. M., Smith, C., Charlton, D., Zhang, L., Turunen, M., & Hakulinen, J. (2008). A 'companion' ECA with planning and activity modelling. In Proceedings of the seventh international conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems (Vol. 3, pp. 1281-1284). ACM.