Tech Reports


Emotion As An Enabler Of Co-Operation

Martyn Lloyd-Kelly, Katie Atkinson and Trevor Bench-Capon


Human reasoning and behaviour is undoubtedly influenced by emotions. However, the role of emotion in reasoning has, until recently, been viewed as secondary, with preference given to game theory principles in order to explain how the reasoning of an individual affects sociable interaction and the phenomenon of co- operation. Despite this, development of emotional agent architectures has gained increased interest, resulting in multi-agent systems whose individuals use emotion to aid reasoning and behaviour selection. This paper details a novel emotional agent capable of simple, natural emotional responses to information received from the environment it is situated in. Such an agent is contrasted with the concept of a so-called rational agent, whose reasoning is determined by rational processes that are based upon game theoretic notions. We present a novel test-bed entitled Tileworld Dilemma which is inspired by the Tileworld test-bed and Robert Axelrod's take on the Prisoner's Dilemma. Tileworld Dilemma allows us to research two questions: firstly, is the rational behaviour demonstrated by the most successful strategy in Axelrod's tournament, the "tit-for-tat" strategy, capable of being replicated using simple emotional responses produced by our emotional agent? Secondly, how can emotions enable and promote co-operation between agents in a society? To investigate these questions we pit an emotional agent with a range of emotional characters against the most notable strategies described in Axelrod's tournament and analyse the behaviours and scores demonstrated/obtained by both the individuals and the total system. As a result, we discover that tolerance and responsiveness are integral emotional features with regards to the scoring of agents endowed with functional interpretations of emotions.

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