Communicating Agent Intentions for Human-Agent Decision Making under Uncertainty

Julie Porteous, Alan Lindsay, Fred Charles

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Recent advances in visualisation technologies have opened up new possibilities for human-agent communication. For systems where agents use automated planning, visualisation of agent intentions, i.e., agent planned actions, can assist human understanding and decision making (e.g., deciding when human control is required or when it can be delegated to an agent). We are working in an application area, shipbuilding, where branched plans are often essential, due to the typical uncertainty experienced. Our focus is how best to communicate, using visualisation, the key information content of branched plans. It is important that such visualisations communicate the complexity and variety of the possible agent intentions i.e., executions, captured in a branched plan, whilst also connecting to the practitioner's understanding of the problem. Thus we utilise an approach to generate the complete branched plan, to be able to provide a full picture of its complexity, and a mechanism to select a subset of diverse traces that characterise the possible agent intentions. We have developed an interface which uses 3D visualisation to communicate details of these characterising execution traces. Using this interface, we conducted a study evaluating the impact of different modes of presentation on user understanding. Our results support our expectation that visualisation of branched plan characterising execution traces increases user understanding of agent intention and plan execution possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAAMAS '23: Proceedings of the 2023 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781450394321
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023
Event22nd International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2023 - London ExCeL conference centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 May 20232 Jun 2023


Conference22nd International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2023
Abbreviated titleAAMAS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Explainable AI Planning
  • Human-Agent Decision Making
  • Virtual Agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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