THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
School of Computer Science
Cognitive Science Research Centre

THE BIRMINGHAM COGNITION AND AFFECT PROJECT

PROJECT WEB DIRECTORY
PAPERS ADDED IN THE PERIOD 1996-1999 (APPROXIMATELY)

PAPERS 1996 -- 1999 CONTENTS LIST
RETURN TO MAIN COGAFF INDEX

NOTE

See also

This file is http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cogaff/96-99.html
Maintained by Aaron Sloman -- who does not respond to Facebook requests.
It contains an index to files in the Cognition and Affect Project's Web directory produced or published in the period 1996-1999. Some of the papers published in this period were produced before 1996 and are included in the list for an earlier period http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/cogaff/81-95.html

Last updated: 2 May 2010; 13 Nov 2010; 3 Jan 2012; 7 Jul 2012; 31 Aug 2013


PAPERS IN THE COGNITION AND AFFECT DIRECTORY
Produced or published in the period 1996-1999 (Approximately)
(Latest first)

Most of the papers listed here are in compressed or uncompressed postscript format. Some are latex or plain ascii text. Some of the postscript files are duplicated in PDF format. For information on free browsers for these formats see http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~axs/browsers.html

PDF versions of postscript files can be provided on request. Email A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk requesting conversion.


The following Contents list (in reverse chronological order) contains links to locations in this file giving further details, including abstracts, and links to the papers themselves.

JUMP TO DETAILED LIST (After contents)

CONTENTS -- FILES 1996-1999 (Latest First)

What follows is a list of links to more detailed information about each paper. From there you can select the actual papers, mostly in postscript format, and some also in PDF.

Title: Architectures and types of consciousness (TUCSON3 Abstract)
Author: Aaron Sloman

Title: Distributed Reflective Architectures for Adjustable Autonomy
Author: C. Kennedy

Title: Evolution of Self-Definition
Author: C. Kennedy

Title: PhD Thesis Proposal: Distributed Reflective Architectures
Author: C. Kennedy

Title: Patrice Terrier interviews Aaron Sloman for EACE QUARTERLY (August 1999)

Title: Beyond Shallow Models of Emotion
(Originally presented at I3 Spring Days Workshop on Behavior planning for life-like characters and avatars Sitges, Spain, March 1999)
Author: Aaron Sloman

Title: Architecture-Based Conceptions Of Mind (Superseded version)
(Abstract for invited talk at 11th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Krakow, Poland August 20-26, 1999.)
Author: Aaron Sloman

Title: Why can't a goldfish long for its mother? Architectural prerequisites for various types of emotions.
(Slides for invited talk at Conference on Affective Computing, April 1999, UCL.)
Author: Aaron Sloman

Title: Building cognitively rich agents using the SIM_AGENT toolkit (in CACM March 1999),
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Brian Logan

Title: Architectural Requirements for Human-like Agents Both Natural and Artificial (What sorts of machines can love? )
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Towards a Grammar of Emotions
Author: Aaron Sloman

Title: Are brains computers? (Slides for debate at LSE)
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: State space search with prioritised soft constraints
Authors: Brian Logan and Natasha Alechina

Title: A* (Astar) with bounded costs
Authors: Brian Logan and Natasha Alechina

Title: Qualitative Decision Support using Prioritised Soft Constraints
Authors: Brian Logan and Aaron Sloman

Title: SIM_AGENT two years on
Authors: B. Logan J. Baxter, R. Hepplewhite and A. Sloman

Title: What sorts of brains can support what sorts of minds?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Review of Affective Computing by Rosalind Picard, MIT
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Slides for presentation on: What's an AI toolkit for?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Diagrams in the Mind?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: The "Semantics" of Evolution: Trajectories and Trade-offs
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Damasio, Descartes, Alarms and Meta-management
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Classifying Agent Systems
Authors: Brian Logan

Title: What's an AI toolkit for?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: The evolution of what?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Architectures and Tools for Human-Like Agents
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Brian Logan

Title: WHAT SORTS OF MACHINES CAN LOVE?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Cognition and affect: Architectures and tools
Authors: Brian Logan and Aaron Sloman

Title: Supervenience and Implementation: Virtual and Physical Machines
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Design Spaces, Niche Spaces and the "Hard" Problem
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: The evolutionary engine and the mind machine: A design-based study of adaptive change
Authors: Chris Complin

Title: Agent route planning in complex terrains
Authors: Brian Logan and Aaron Sloman

Title: Route planning with ordered constraints
Authors: Brian Logan

Title: Route planning in the space of complete plans
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli

Title: Route planning with GA* (GAstar)
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli

Title: Emotional Agents (PhD Thesis)
Authors: Ian Wright

Title: What sort of architecture is required for a human-like agent?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Designing Human-Like Minds
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Architectural Requirements for Autonomous Human-like Agents
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Synthetic Minds
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Brian Logan

Title: MINDER1: An implementation of a protoemotional agent architecture
Authors: Ian Wright, Aaron Sloman

Title: The society of mind requires an economy of mind
Authors: Ian Wright, Michel Aube

Title: Actual Possibilities
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: What sort of architecture can support emotionality?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Evolving Optimal Populations with XCS Classifier Systems
Authors: Tim Kovacs

Title: Reactive and Motivational Agents: Towards a Collective Minder
Author: Darryl Davis

Title: What sort of architecture is required for a human-like agent?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Route planning in the space of complete plans
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli

Title: On the relations between search and evolutionary algorithms
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli

Title: Design Requirements for a Computational Libidinal Economy
Authors: Ian Wright

Title: A systems approach to consciousness
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: Reinforcement learning and animat emotions
Authors: Ian Wright

Title: What is it like to be a Rock? (DRAFT)
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: What sort of control system is able to have a personality?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Title: SIM_AGENT: A toolkit for exploring agent designs
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Riccardo Poli

Title: Towards a Design-Based Analysis of Emotional Episodes
Authors: Ian Wright, Aaron Sloman, Luc Beaudoin

Title: Beyond Turing Equivalence
Authors: Aaron Sloman

PRE 1996 files


DETAILS OF FILES AVAILABLE


BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

Filename: sloman-tucson3.txt
Title: Architectures and types of consciousness (TUCSON3 Abstract)

Author: Aaron Sloman
Date Installed: 15 Jan 2007 (Published 1998)

Abstract:

This abstract was included in the 'Philosophy' section of the proceedings of this conference: Toward a Science of Consciousness 1998 "Tucson III" April 27-May 2, 1998 Tucson, Arizona All the abstracts are online here.


Filename: kennedyadjust_autonomy.ps
Filename: kennedyadjust_autonomy.pdf
Title: Distributed Reflective Architectures for Adjustable Autonomy

in IJCAI-99 Workshop on Adjustable Autonomy, Stockholm, Sweden, July 1999.
Author: C. Kennedy
Date of paper:30 July 1999

Abstract:
A decision made by an autonomous system to adjust its autonomy status (e.g. override manual control) must be based on reliable information. In particular, the system's anomaly-detection mechanisms must be intact. To ensure this, a high degree of self-monitoring (reflective coverage) is necessary. We propose a distributed reflective system, where the participating agents monitor each other's performance and software execution patterns. We focus on two things: monitoring of the anomaly-detection components of an agent (which we call meta-observation) and evaluating the "quality" of the agent's actions (does it make the world better or worse?). Using a simple scenario, we argue that these features can enhance the reliability of autonomy adjustment.


Filename: kennedy.immune0.ps
Filename: kennedy.immune0.pdf
Title: Evolution of Self-Definition

In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Invited Track on "Immune Systems: Modelling and Simulation", San Diego, October 1998.
Author: C. Kennedy
Date of paper: October 1998

Abstract:
When considering an architecture for an artificial immune system, it is generally agreed that discrimination between self and non-self is required. With current immune system models, the definition of "self" is usually concerned with patterns associated with normal usage. However, this has the disadvantage that the discrimination process itself may be disabled by a virus and there is no way to detect this because the algorithms controlling the pattern recognition are not included in the self-definition. To avoid an infinite regress of increasingly higher levels of reflection, we propose a model of mutual reflection based on a multi-agent network where each agent monitors and protects a subset of other agents and is itself monitored and protected by them. The whole network is then the self-definition. The paper presents a conceptual framework for the evolution of algorithms to enable agents in the network to become mutually protective. If there is no critical dependence on a global management component, this property of symbiosis can lead to a more robust form of distributed self-nonself distinction.


Filename: Kennedy.proposal.ps
Filename: Kennedy.proposal.pdf
Title: PhD Thesis Proposal: Distributed Reflective Architectures

Author: Catriona M. Kennedy
Date: 23 July 1999

Abstract:
The autonomy of a system can be defined as its capability to recover from unforeseen difficulties without any user intervention. This thesis proposal addresses a small part of this problem, namely the detection of anomalies within a system's own operation by the system itself. It is a response to a challenge presented by immune systems which can distinguish between "self " and "nonself ", i.e. they can recognise a "foreign" pattern (due to a virus or bacterium) as different from those associated with the organism itself, even if the pattern was not previously encountered. The aim is to apply this requirement to an artificial system, where "nonself " may be any form of deliberate intrusion or random anomalous behaviour due to a fault. When designing reflective architectures or self-diagnostic systems, it is simpler to rely on a single coordination mechanism to make the system work as intended. However, such a coordination mechanism cannot be inspected or repaired by the system itself, which means that there is a gap in its reflective coverage. To try to overcome this limitation, this thesis proposal suggests a conceptual frame-work based on a network of agents where each agent monitors the whole network from a unique and independent perspective and where the perspectives are not globally "managed". Each agent monitors the fault-detection capability and control algorithms of other agents (a process called meta-observation). In this way, the agents can collectively achieve reflective coverage of failures.


Filename: Sloman.eace-interview.html
Title: Patrice Terrier interviews Aaron Sloman for EACE QUARTERLY
(August 1999)
Date: 3 Sep 1999

Abstract:
Patrice Terrier asks and Aaron Sloman attempts to answer questions about AI, about emotions, about the relevance of philosophy to AI, about Poplog, Sim_agent and other tools.
(EACE = European Association for Cognitive Ergonomics


Filename: Sloman.i3.ps (superseded version)
Filename: Sloman.i3.pdf (superseded version)
Title: Beyond Shallow Models of Emotion

This paper has been superseded by a longer revised version with the same name in Cognitive Processing, Vol 1, 2001, pp 1-22, (Summer 2001), available in this directory via the 2000- Contents file.

(Originally presented at I3 Spring Days Workshop on Behavior planning for life-like characters and avatars Sitges, Spain, March 1999)


Author: Aaron Sloman
Date: 3 Aug 1999

Abstract:
There is much shallow thinking about emotions, and a huge diversity of definitions of "emotion" arises out of this shallowness. Too often the definitions and theories are inspired either by a mixture of introspection and selective common sense, or by a misdirected neo-behaviourist methodology, attempting to define emotions and other mental states in terms of observables. One way to avoid such shallowness, and perhaps achieve convergence, is to base concepts and theories on an information processing architecture, which is subject to various constraints, including evolvability, implementability, coping with resource-limited physical mechanisms, and achieving required functionality. Within such an architecture-based theory we can distinguish primary emotions, secondary emotions, and tertiary emotions, and produce a coherent theory which not only explains a wide range of phenomena but also partly explains the diversity of theories: most of them focus on only a subset of types of emotions.


Filename: Sloman.lmps99.ps (superseded version)
Filename: Sloman.lmps99.pdf (superseded version)
Title: Architecture-Based Conceptions Of Mind (Superseded version )

(Abstract for invited talk at 11th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Krakow, Poland August 20-26, 1999.)

NOTE: The link now points to the final, published version of the paper. http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cogaff/00-02.html#lmpsfinal

Author: Aaron Sloman
Date: 8 Jun 1999

Abstract: (This was a short abstract. See later version)
Because we apparently have direct access to the phenomena, it is tempting to think we know exactly what we are talking about when we refer to consciousness, experience, the "first-person" viewpoint, etc. But this is as mistaken as thinking we fully understand what simultaneity is just because we have direct access to the phenomena, for instance when we see a flash and hear a bang simultaneously.

Einstein taught us otherwise. From the fact that we can recognise some instances of a concept it does not follow that we know what is meant in general by saying that something is or is not an instance. Endless debates about which animals and which types of machines have consciousness are among the many symptoms that our concepts of mentality are more confused than we realise.

Too often people thinking about mind and consciousness consider only adult human minds in an academic culture, ignoring people from other cultures, infants, people with brain damage or disease, insects, birds, chimpanzees and other animals, as well as robots and software agents in synthetic environments. By broadening our view, we find evidence for diverse information processing architectures, each supporting and explaining a specific combination of mental capabilities.

When concepts connote complex, clusters of capabilities, then different subsets may be present at different stages of development of a species or an individual. Very different subsets may be found in different species. Different subsets may be impaired by different sorts of brain damage or degeneration. When we know what sorts of components are implicitly referred to by our pre-theoretic "cluster concepts" we can then define new more precise concepts in terms of different subsets. It helps if we can specify the architectures which generate different subsets of information processing capabilities. That also enables us to ask new, deeper, questions not only about the development of individuals but about the evolution of mentality in different species.

Architecture-based concepts generated in the framework of virtual machine functionalism subvert familiar philosophical thought experiments about zombies, since attempts to specify a zombie with the {\sc} right kind of {\em virtual machine} functionality but lacking our mental states degenerates into incoherence when spelled out in great detail. When you have fully described the internal states, processes, dispositions and causal interactions within a zombie whose information processing functions are alleged to be {\em exactly} like ours, the claim that something might still be missing becomes incomprehensible.


Filename: Sloman.bcs.hci.99.ps
Filename: Sloman.bcs.hci.99.pdf
Title: Why can't a goldfish long for its mother? Architectural prerequisites for various types of emotions.

(Slides (17 pages) for invited talk at Conference on Affective Computing: The Role of Emotion In HCI
Saturday 10th April 1999, University College London. See the conference web site.)

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 11 Apr 1999

Abstract:
(Intended as a partial antidote to wide-spread shallow views about emotions, and over-simplified ontologies too easily accepted by AI and HCI researchers now becoming interested in intelligence and affect.)

Our everyday attributions of emotions, moods, attitudes, desires, and other affective states implicitly presuppose that people are information processors. To long for something you need to know of its existence, its remoteness, and the possibility of being together again. Besides these semantic information states, longing also involves a control state. One who has deep longing for X does not merely occasionally think it would be wonderful to be with X. In deep longing thoughts are often uncontrollably drawn to X.

We need to understand the architectural underpinnings of control of attention, so that we can see how control can be lost. Having control requires being able to some extent to monitor one's thought processes, to evaluate them, and to redirect them. Only "to some extent" because both access and control are partial. We need to explain why. (In addition, self-evaluation can be misguided, e.g. after religious indoctrination!)

"Tertiary emotions" like deep longing are different from "primary" emotions (e.g. being startled or sexually aroused) and "secondary emotions" (e.g. being apprehensive or relieved) which, to some extent, we share with other animals. Can chimps, bonobos or human toddlers have tertiary emotions? To clarify the empirical questions and explain the phenomena we need a good model of the information processing architecture.

Conjecture: various modules in the human mind (perceptual, motor, and more central modules) all have architectural layers that evolved at different times and support different kinds of functionality, including reactive, deliberative and self-monitoring processes.

Different types of affect are related to the functioning of these different layers: e.g. primary emotions require only reactive layers, secondary emotions require deliberative layers (including "what if" reasoning mechanisms) and tertiary emotions (e.g. deep longing, humiliation, infatuation) involve additional self evaluation and self control mechanisms which evolved late and may be rare among animals.

An architecture-based framework can bring some order into the morass of studies of affect (e.g. myriad definitions of "emotion"). This will help us understand which kinds of emotions can arise in software agents that lack the reactive mechanisms required for controlling a physical body.

HCI Designers need to understand these issues (a) if they want to model human affective processes, (b) if they wish to design systems which engage fruitfully with human affective processes, (c) if they wish to produce teaching/training packages for would-be counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists.


Filename: Sloman.Logan.cacm.ps.gz
Filename: Sloman.Logan.cacm.pdf
Title: Building cognitively rich agents using the SIM_AGENT toolkit,
(in Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery, March 1999, vol 43, no 2, pp. 71-77;

Online (with a one page inset written by a user of the toolkit) here (Copyright CACM) and also here.(PDF))
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Brian Logan
Date: 17 Jan 1999

Abstract:
An overview of some of the motivation of our research and design criteria for the SIM_AGENT toolkit for a special issue of CACM on multi-agent systems, edited by Anupam Joshi and Munindar Singh.

For more information about the toolkit (now referred to as SimAgent), including movies of demos, see http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/poplog/packages/simagent.html

Work on the Cognition and Affect project using the toolkit is reported here (PDF).


Filename: Sloman.kd.ps
Filename: Sloman.kd.pdf
Title: Architectural Requirements for Human-like Agents Both Natural and Artificial. (What sorts of machines can love? )

To appear in Human Cognition And Social Agent Technology Ed. Kerstin Dautenhahn, in the "Advances in Consciousness Research" series, John Benjamins Publishing
(Extended version of slides on love for "Voice box" talk, below.)
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 10 Jan 1999 (Book Published, March 2000)

Abstract:
This paper, an expanded version of a talk on love given to a literary society, attempts to analyse some of the architectural requirements for an agent which is capable of having primary, secondary and tertiary emotions, including being infatuated or in love. It elaborates on work done previously in the Birmingham Cognition and Affect group, describing our proposed three level architecture (with reactive, deliberative and meta-management layers), showing how different sorts of emotions relate to those layers.

Some of the relationships between emotional states involving partial loss of control of attention (e.g. emotional states involved in being in love) and other states which involve dispositions (e.g. attitudes such as loving) are discussed and related to the architecture.

The work of poets and playwrights can be shown to involve an implicit commitment to the hypothesis that minds are (at least) information processing engines. Besides loving, many other familiar states and processes such as seeing, deciding, wondering whether, hoping, regretting, enjoying, disliking, learning, planning and acting all involve various sorts of information processing.

By analysing the requirements for such processes to occur, and relating them to our evolutionary history and what is known about animal brains, and comparing this with what is being learnt from work on artificial minds in artificial intelligence, we can begin to formulate new and deeper theories about how minds work, including how we come to think about qualia, many forms of learning and development, and results of brain damage or abnormality.

But there is much prejudice that gets in the way of such theorising, and also much misunderstanding because people construe notions of "information processing" too narrowly.



This entry has been moved here.
Title: Towards a Grammar of Emotions, in New Universities Quarterly, 36,3, pp 230-238, 1982.
Authors: Aaron Sloman



Filename: Sloman.oup98.slides.pdf
Filename: Sloman.oup98.slides.ps
Title: Are brains computers?
(Slides prepared for the OUP/Prospect Debate "Are Brains Computers", at LSE, London Nov 19th 1998. Other speakers were: Susan Greenfield, Roger Penrose, Dan Robinson, Galen Strawson.)

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 21 Nov 1998

Abstract: A discussion of some of the commonalities between brains and computers as physical systems within which information processing machines can be implemented. Includes a distinction between machines which manipulate energy and forces, machines with manipulate matter and machines which process information. Concludes that we still have much to learn about computers and brains, and although it seems likely that brains are computers we don't yet know what sorts of computers they are.


Filename: logan-alechina-ecai98.pdf
Filename: logan-alechina-ecai98.ps.gz

Title: State space search with prioritised soft constraints
Authors: Brian Logan and Natasha Alechina
in Proceedings of the ECAI-98 Workshop "Decision theory meets artificial intelligence: qualitative and quantitative approaches', pp 33-42, Brighton, August, 1998.
Date: June 1998

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/authors/B.S.Logan/aaai-98.ps.gz
Title: A* (Astar) with bounded costs
Authors: Brian Logan and Natasha Alechina
In Proceedings of the 15th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence--AAAI-98, Madison Wisconson, July 1998.
Also available as University of Birmingham School of Computer Science technical report CSRP-98-09.
Date: April 1998

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/tech-reports/1998/CSRP-98-14.ps.gz
Title: Qualitative Decision Support using Prioritised Soft Constraints
Authors: Brian Logan and Aaron Sloman
Technical CSRP-98-14, University of Birmingham School of Computer Science, 1998.
Date: April 1998

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/tech-reports/1998/CSRP-98-02.ps.gz
Filename: Logan.Sloman.etc.CSRP-98-02.pdf

Title: SIM_AGENT two years on
Authors: B. Logan J. Baxter, R. Hepplewhite and A. Sloman
(The second and third authors are at DERA Malvern.)
CSRP-98-02, University of Birmingham School of Computer Science, 1998.
Date: January 1998

Abstract:


Filename: Sloman.biota98.html
Filename: Sloman.biota.slides.ps
Filename: Sloman.biota.slides.pdf

Title: What sorts of brains can support what sorts of minds?

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 19 Oct 1998

Abstract:
The HTML file is the abstract for an invited talk at the DIGITAL BIOTA 2 Conference
The .ps and .pdf files are postscript and PDf files containing slightly extended versions of the slides I presented at the conference.


Filename: Sloman.picard.review.ps
Filename: Sloman.picard.review.pdf
Title: Review of Affective Computing by Rosalind Picard, MIT Press 1997.

(in The AI Magazine April, 1999, with reply by Rosalind Picard.)
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 9 Sept 1998

Abstract:
This review summarises the main themes of Picard's book, some of which are related to Damasio's ideas in Descartes' Error. In particular, I try to show that not all secondary emotions need manifest themselves via the primary emotion system, and therefore they will not all be detectable by measurements of physiological changes. I agree with much of the spirit of the book, but disagree on detail.
NOTE: Rosalind Picard's reply to this review is available online at http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m2483/1_20/54367782/p1/


Filename: Sloman.toolworkshop.slides.pdf
Filename: Sloman.toolworkshop.slides.ps
Title: Slides for presentation on: What's an AI toolkit for?

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 24 July 1998

Abstract:
The paper "What's an AI toolkit for", presented at AAAI-98 Workshop on Software Tools for Developing Agents at AAAI98 in Madison, USA, July 1998, is listed below. This file contains the slides (two slides per A4 page) prepared for the presentation.


Filename: Sloman.twd98.ps (superseded)
Filename: Sloman.twd98.pdf (superseded)
Title: Diagrams in the Mind? (out of date)
NB: A revised version of this paper will appear in a book published by Springer. The revised version is listed in a later index file in this directory.
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Invited paper for Thinking With Diagrams conference at Aberystwyth, Aug 1998.
Date: Aug 1998

Abstract:
Clearly we can solve problems by thinking about them. Sometimes we have the impression that in doing so we use words, at other times diagrams or images. Often we use both. What is going on when we use mental diagrams or images? This question is addressed in relation to the more general multi-pronged question: what are representations, what are they for, how many different types are they, in how many different ways can they be used, and what difference does it make whether they are in the mind or on paper? The question is related to deep problems about how vision and spatial manipulation work. It is suggested that we are far from understanding what's going on. In particular we need to explain how people understand spatial structure and motion, and I'll try to suggest that this is a problem with hidden depths, since our grasp of spatial structure is inherently a grasp of a complex range of possibilities and their implications. Two classes of examples discussed at length illustrate requirements for human visualisation capabilities. One is the problem of removing undergarments without removing outer garments. The other is thinking about infinite discrete mathematical structures.


Filename: Sloman_iberamia.ps
Filename: Sloman_iberamia.pdf
Title: The "Semantics" of Evolution: Trajectories and Trade-offs in Design Space and Niche Space.

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Invited talk for 6th Iberoamerican Conference on AI (IBERAMIA-98) Lisbon, October 1998. In Progress in Artificial Intelligence, Springer, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, pp. 27--38, Editor Helder Coelho.
Date: 16 Jun 1998

Abstract:
This paper attempts to characterise a unifying overview of the practice of software engineers, AI designers, developers of evolutionary forms of computation, designers of adaptive systems, etc. The topic overlaps with theoretical biology, developmental psychology and perhaps some aspects of social theory. Just as much of theoretical computer science follows the lead of engineering intuitions and tries to formalise them, there are also some important emerging high level cross disciplinary ideas about natural information processing architectures and evolutionary mechanisms and that can perhaps be unified and formalised in the future. There is some speculation about the evolution of human cognitive architectures and consciousness.


Filename: Sloman_smc98.ps
Filename: Sloman_smc98.pdf
Title: Damasio, Descartes, Alarms and Meta-management
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Invited contribution to symposium on Cognitive Agents: Modeling Human Cognition, at IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics San Diego, Oct 1988, pp 2652--7.
Date: 16 Jun 1998

Abstract:
This paper discusses some of the requirements for the control architecture of an intelligent human-like agent with multiple independent dynamically changing motives in a dynamically changing only partly predictable world. The architecture proposed includes a combination of reactive, deliberative and meta-management mechanisms along with one or more global "alarm" systems. The engineering design requirements are discussed in relation our evolutionary history, evidence of brain function and recent theories of Damasio and others about the relationships between intelligence and emotions. (The paper was completed in haste for a deadline and I forgot to explain why Descartes was in the title. See Damasio 1994.)


Filename: Logan.classifying.agents.ps
Title: Classifying Agent Systems

Authors: Brian Logan
In proceedings: AAAI-98 Workshop on Software Tools for Developing Agents
(eds Brian Logan and Jeremy Baxter). July 1998
Date: 20 May 1998

Abstract:
To select an appropriate tool or tools to build an agent-based system we need to map from features of agent systems to implementation technologies. In this paper we propose a simple scheme for classifying agent systems. Starting from the notion of an agent as a cluster concept, we motivate an approach to classification based on the identification of features of agent systems, and use this to generate a high level taxonomy. We illustrate how the scheme can be applied by means of some simple examples, and argue that our approach can form the first step in developing a methodology for the selection of implementation technologies.


Filename: Sloman.toolworkshop.pdf
Filename: Sloman.toolworkshop.ps
Title: What's an AI toolkit for?

Authors: Aaron Sloman
In proceedings: AAAI-98 Workshop on Software Tools for Developing Agents
(eds Brian Logan and Jeremy Baxter). July 1998, pp 1-10.
Date: 20 May 1998 (PDF added 21 Nov 2007)

Abstract:
This paper identifies a collection of high level questions which need to be posed by designers of toolkits for developing intelligent agents (e.g. What kinds of scenarios are to be developed? What sorts of agent architectures are required? What are the scenarios to be used for? Are speed and ease of development more or less important than speed and robustness of the final system?). It then considers some of the toolkit design options relevant to these issues, including some concerned with multi-agent systems and some concerned with individual intelligent agents of high internal complexity, including human-like agents. A conflict is identified between requirements for exploring new types of agent designs and requirements for formal specification, verifiability and efficiency. The paper ends with some challenges for computer science theorists posed by complex systems of interacting agents.

Note: my slides presented at the workshop are described above.


NB THIS PAPER IS LARGELY SUPERSEDED BY THIS PAPER (2009)
Filename: Sloman.consciousness.evolution.ps
Filename: Sloman.consciousness.evolution.pdf
Filename: Sloman.consciousness.evolution.ps.gz
Title: The evolution of what?

(Draft very long paper:- Comments welcome)
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 2 Mar 1998 (DRAFT VERSION)

Abstract:
There is now a huge amount of interest in consciousness among scientists as well as philosophers, yet there is so much confusion and ambiguity in the claims and counter-claims that it is hard to tell whether any progress is being made. This "position paper" suggests that we can make progress by temporarily putting to one side questions about what consciousness is or which animals or machines have it or how it evolved. Instead we should focus on questions about the sorts of architectures that are possible for behaving systems and ask what sorts of capabilities, states and processes, might be supported by different sorts of architectures. We can then ask which organisms and machines have which sorts of architectures. This combines the standpoint of philosopher, biologist and engineer. If we can find a general theory of the variety of possible architectures (a characterisation of "design space") and the variety of environments, tasks and roles to which such architectures are well suited (a characterisation of "niche space") we may be able to use such a theory as a basis for formulating new more precisely defined concepts with which to articulate less ambiguous questions about the space of possible minds. For instance our initially ill-defined concept ("consciousness") might split into a collection of more precisely defined concepts which can be used to ask unambiguous questions with definite answers. As a first step this paper explores a collection of conjectures regarding architectures and their evolution. In particular we explore architectures involving a combination of coexisting architectural levels including: (a) reactive mechanisms which evolved very early, (b) deliberative mechanisms which evolved later in response to pressures on information processing resources and (c) meta-management mechanisms that can explicitly inspect evaluate and modify some of the contents of various internal information structures. It is conjectured that in response to the needs of these layers, perceptual and action subsystems also developed layers, and also that an "alarm" system which initially existed only within the reactive layer may have become increasingly sophisticated and extensive as its inputs and outputs were linked to the newer layers. Processes involving the meta-management layer in the architecture could explain the origin of the notion of "qualia". Processes involving the "alarm" mechanism and mechanisms concerned with resource limits in the second and third layers gives us an explanation of three main forms of emotion, helping to account for some of the ambiguities which have bedevilled the study of emotion. Further theoretical and practical benefits may come from further work based on this design-based approach to consciousness. A deeper longer term implication is the possibility of a new science investigating laws governing possible trajectories in design space and niche space, as these form parts of high order feedback loops in the biosphere.


Filename: Sloman.and.Logan.eccm98.ps.gz
Title: Architectures and Tools for Human-Like Agents

Authors: Aaron Sloman and Brian Logan
Date: 11 Mar 1998

Abstract:
This paper discusses agent architectures which are describable in terms of the "higher level" mental concepts applicable to human beings, e.g. "believes", "desires", "intends" and "feels". We conjecture that such concepts are grounded in a type of information processing architecture, and not simply in observable behaviour nor in Newell's knowledge-level concepts, nor Dennett's "intentional stance." A strategy for conceptual exploration of architectures in design-space and niche-space is outlined, including an analysis of design trade-offs. The SIM_AGENT (SimAgent) toolkit, developed to support such exploration, including hybrid architectures, is described briefly.


Filename: Sloman.voicebox.2page.pdf (PDF)
Filename: Sloman.voicebox.2page.ps (Postscript)
Title: WHAT SORTS OF MACHINES CAN LOVE? Architectural Requirements for Human-like Agents

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 21 Feb 1998

Abstract:
This is a hastily produced set of slides for a talk given at the Royal Festival Hall on 21 Feb 1998 as part of a series of talks in the South Bank Centre's Literature Programme. See

http://www.sbc.org.uk/

The slides begin to apply the ideas developed in the Cognition and Affect project to the analysis of architectural requirements for love and various other emotional and affective states. [THE SLIDES ARE PARTLY OUT OF DATE. See Filename: Sloman.kd.ps ]


Filename: logan-sloman-aa98poster.pdf
Filename: logan-sloman-aa98poster.ps

Title: Cognition and affect: Architectures and tools
Authors: Brian Logan and Aaron Sloman
Summary of poster presentation. In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Autonomous Agents (Agents '98), ACM Press, 1998, pp 471--472.
Date: Feb 1998

Abstract:
Which agent architectures are capable of justifying descriptions in terms of the 'higher level' mental concepts applicable to human beings? We propose a new kind of architecture-based semantics for mentalistic descriptions in which mental concepts (e.g. 'believes', 'desires', 'intends', 'mood', 'emotion', etc.) are grounded in assumptions about information processing architectures, and not merely in concepts based solely on Dennett's 'intentional stance'. These ideas have led to the design of the SIM_AGENT toolkit which has been used to explore a variety of such architectures.


Filename: Sloman.supervenience.and.implementation.pdf
Filename: Sloman.supervenience.and.implementation.ps
Title: Supervenience and Implementation: Virtual and Physical Machines

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 26 Jan 1998 (DRAFT subject to revision)

Abstract:
How can a virtual machine X be implemented in a physical machine Y? We know the answer as far as compilers, editors, theorem-provers, operating systems are concerned, at least insofar as we know how to produce these implemented virtual machines, and no mysteries are involved. This paper is about extrapolating from that knowledge to the implementation of minds in brains. By linking the philosopher's concept of supervenience to the engineer's concept of implementation, we can illuminate both. In particular, by showing how virtual machines can be implemented in causally complete physical machines, and still have causal powers, we remove some philosophical problems about how mental processes can be real and can have real effects in the world even if the underlying physical implementation has no causal gaps. This requires a theory of ontological levels.
Note: This is an extract from a much longer, evolving, paper, in part about the relation between mind and brain, and in part about the more general question of how high level abstract kinds of structures, processes and mechanisms can depend for their existence on lower level, more concrete kinds.


Filename: Sloman.design.and.niche.spaces.ps
Title: Design Spaces, Niche Spaces and the "Hard" Problem
(Superseded by IBERAMIA98 paper).
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 20 Jan 1998 (DRAFT Subject to revision)

Abstract:
This is an attempt to characterise a new unifying generalisation of the practice of software engineers, AI designers, developers of evolutionary forms of computation, etc. This topic overlaps with theoretical biology, developmental psychology and perhaps some aspects of social theory (yet to be developed!). Much of theoretical computer science follows the lead of engineering intuitions and tries to formalise them. Likewise there are important emerging high level cross disciplinary ideas about processes and architectures found in nature that can be unified and formalised, extending work done in Alife and evolutionary computation. This paper attempts to provide a conceptual framework for thinking about the tasks. Within this framework we can also find a new approach to the so-called hard problem of consciousness, based on virtual machine functionalism, and find a new defence for a version of the "Strong AI" thesis.


Filename: Complin.thesis.pdf (postscript)
Filename: Complin.thesis.ps.gz (postscript)
Filename: Complin.thesis.doc (word)
Title: The evolutionary engine and the mind machine: A design-based study of adaptive change
(PhD Thesis, The University of Birmingham)
Authors: Chris Complin
Date: December 1997 (installed here 20 May 1998. PDF added 3 Jan 2012)

Abstract:
The objectives of this thesis are to elucidate adaptive change from a design-stance, provide a detailed examination of the concept of evolvability and computationally model agents which undergo both genetic and cultural evolution. Using Sloman's (1994) design-based methodology, Darwinian evolution by natural selection is taken as a starting point. The concept of adaptive change is analysed and the situations where it is necessary for survival are described. A wide array of literature from biology and evolutionary computation is used to support the thesis that Darwinian evolution by natural selection is not a completely random process of trial and error, but has mechanisms which produce trial-selectivity. A number of means of creating trial-selectivity are presented, including reproductive, developmental, psychological and sociocultural mechanisms. From this discussion, a richer concept of evolvability than that originally postulated by Dawkins (1989) is expounded. Computational experiments are used to show that the evolvability producing mechanisms can be selected as they yield, on average, 'fitter' members in the next generation that inherit those same mechanisms. Thus Darwinian evolution by natural selection is shown to be an inherently adaptive algorithm that can tailor itself to searching in different areas of design space. A second set of computational experiments are used to explore a trajectory in design space made up of agents with genetic mechanisms, agents with learning mechanisms and agents with social mechanisms. On the basis of design work the consequences of combining genetic and cultural evolutionary systems were examined; the implementation work demonstrated that agents with both systems could adapt at a faster rate. The work in this thesis supports the conjecture that evolution involves a change in replicator frequency (genetic or memetic) through the process of selective-trial and error-elimination.


Logan-Sloman-CSRP-97-30.pdf
Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/tech-reports/1997/CSRP-97-30.ps.gz
Title: Agent route planning in complex terrains
Technical report CSRP-97-30, University of Birmingham School of Computer Science, 1997.
Authors: Brian Logan and Aaron Sloman
Date: December 1997

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/authors/B.S.Logan/plansig-97.ps.gz
Title: Route planning with ordered constraints

Authors: Brian Logan
In Proceedings of the 16th Workshop of the UK Planning and Scheduling Special Interest Group, 17-18 December 1997, University of Durham, Durham, pp 133--144 (also available as University of Birmingham School of Computer Science technical report CSRP-98-1).
Date: Nov 1997

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/tech-reports/1997/CSRP-97-18.ps.gz
Title: Route planning in the space of complete plans
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli
Technical report CSRP-97-18, University of Birmingham School of Computer Science, 1997.

Date: May 1997

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/tech-reports/1997/CSRP-97-17.ps.gz
Title: Route planning with GA* (GAstar)
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli
Technical report CSRP-97-17, University of Birmingham School of Computer Science, 1997.
Date: May 1997

Abstract:


Filename: Wright.thesis.ps
Filename: Wright.thesis.pdf
Title: Emotional Agents (PhD Thesis)

Authors: Ian Wright
Date: 24 May 1997
Email: ian_wright@interactive.sony.com

Abstract:
The emotions are investigated from the perspective of an Artificial Intelligence engineer attempting to understand the requirements and design options for autonomous resource bound agents able to operate in complex and dynamic worlds. Both natural and artificial intelligences are viewed as more or less complex control systems. The field of agent architecture research is reviewed and Sloman and Beaudoin's design for human-like autonomy introduced. The agent architecture supports an emergent processing state, called {\em perturbance}, which is a loss of control of thought processes. Perturbances are a characteristic feature of many human emotional states. A broad but shallow implementation of the agent architecture, called MINDER1, is described. MINDER1 can support perturbant states and is an example of a 'protoemotional' agent. Several interrupt theories of the emotions are critically reviewed, including the theories of Simon, Sloman, Oatley and Johnson-Laird and Frijda. Criticisms of the theories are presented, in particular how they fail to account for both learning and the mental pain and pleasure associated with some emotional states. The field of machine reinforcement learning is reviewed and the concept of a scalar quantity form of value introduced. Forms of value occur in control systems that meet a requirement for trial and error learning. A philosophical argument that {\em a society of mind will require an economy of mind} is presented. The argument draws on adaptive multi-agent system research and basic economic theory. It generalises reinforcement learning to more complex systems with more complex capabilities. A design hypothesis is proposed -- {\em the currency flow hypothesis} -- that states that a scalar quantity form of value is a common feature of adaptive systems composed of many interacting parts. A design specification is presented for a motivational subsystem conforming to the currency flow hypothesis and theoretically integrated with Sloman and Beaudoin's agent architecture. An explanation of a subset of mental pain and pleasure is provided in terms of an agent architecture monitoring its own processes of reinforcement, or virtual 'currency flows'. The theory is compared to Freudian metapsychology, in particular how currency flow avoids the vitalism associated with Freud's concept of 'libidinal energy'. The explanatory power of the resulting theory of {\em valenced perturbances}, that is painful or pleasurable loss of control of attention, is demonstrated by providing an architecturally grounded analysis of grief. It is shown that, amongst other phenomena, intense mental pain and loss of control of thought processes can be readily explained in information processing terms. The thesis concludes with suggestions for further work and prospects for building artificial emotional agents.


Filename: Sloman.what.arch.ps.gz
Filename: Sloman.what.arch.pdf
Title: What sort of architecture is required for a human-like agent?
Authors: Aaron Sloman

In:
M Wooldridge and A Rao (Eds) Foundations of Rational Agency},
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999
(Expanded version of: Aaron.Sloman.aaai96.cog.ps)
Date: 13 May 1997
Email: A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk

Abstract:
This paper is about how to give human-like powers to complete agents. For this the most important design choice concerns the overall architecture. Questions regarding detailed mechanisms, forms of representations, inference capabilities, knowledge etc. are best addressed in the context of a global architecture in which different design decisions need to be linked. Such a design would assemble various kinds of functionality into a complete coherent working system, in which there are many concurrent, partly independent, partly mutually supportive, partly potentially incompatible processes, addressing a multitude of issues on different time scales, including asynchronous, concurrent, motive generators. Designing human like agents is part of the more general problem of understanding design space, niche space and their interrelations, for, in the abstract, there is no one optimal design, as biological diversity on earth shows. [[This version includes diagrams not in the original version.]]


Filename: Sloman-ecal97.pdf
Filename: Sloman.ecal97.ps.gz
Title: Designing Human-Like Minds
(Unsuccessful submission to European Conference on Artificial Life)

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 3 March 1997

Abstract:
Under what conditions are "higher level" mental concepts which are applicable to human beings also applicable to artificial agents? Our conjecture is that our mental concepts (e.g. "belief", "desire", "intention", "experience", "mood", "emotion", etc.) are grounded in implicit assumptions about an underlying information processing architecture. At this level mechanisms operate on information structures with semantic content, but there is no presumption of rationality. Thus we don't need to assume Newell's knowledge-level, nor Dennett's "intentional stance." The actual architecture will clearly be richer than that naively presupposed by common sense. We outline a three tiered architecture: with reactive, deliberative and reflective layers, and corresponding layers in perceptual and action subsystems, and discuss some implications.


Filename: Sloman-dfki.pdf
Filename: Sloman.dfki.ps.gz

Title: Architectural Requirements for Autonomous Human-like Agents
(Slides for a talk at DFKI Saarbruecken, 6th Feb 1997)

Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: 6 Feb 1997

Abstract:
Everybody seems to be talking about agents, though it's not clear when the word "agent" adds anything beyond "system", "program", "tool", etc. My concern is to understand some of the main features of human agency: what they are, how they evolved, how they differ between individuals, how they are implemented, and how far they can be implemented in artificial systems. This is part of the general multi-disciplinary study of "design space", "niche space", their interrelations, and the trajectories possible within these spaces.

I outline a conjecture that many aspects of human mental functioning, including emotional states, can be explained in terms of an architecture approximately decomposable into three layers, with different evolutionary origins, shared with different animals. The oldest and most widespread is a *reactive* layer. A more recent development, probably shared with fewer animals is a *deliberative* layer. The newest layer is concerned with *meta-management* and may be found only in a few species. The reactive layer involves highly parallel, dedicated and fast mechanisms, capable of fine-tuning but no major structural changes. The deliberative layer involves the ability to create, compare, evaluate, select and act on enw complex structures (e.g. plans, solutions to problems, linguistic constructs), a process that requires much stored knowledge and is inherently serial and resource limited, for several different reasons.

Perceptual and action subsystems had to evolve corresponding layered architectures in order to engage with all these to greatest effect. The third layer is linked to phenomena involving self consciousness and self control (and explains the existence of qualia, as the contents of attentive processes).

Different sorts of emotional states and processes correspond to different architectural layers, and some of them are likely to arise in sophisticated artificial agents of the future.

A short introduction is given to the SIM_AGENT toolkit developed in Birmingham for research and teaching activities involving the design of agents each of which has complex interacting internal mechanisms running concurrently, including symbolic and "sub-symbolic" mechanisms. Some of the material overlaps with the Synthetic Minds poster, below.


Filename: Sloman.and.Logan.agents97.poster.pdf
Filename: Sloman.and.Logan.agents97.poster.ps.gz
Title: Synthetic Minds

(Poster presented at AA'97 Marina del Rey)
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Brian Logan
Date: 4 Feb 1997

Abstract:
This paper discusses conditions under which some of the "higher level" mental concepts applicable to human beings might also be applicable to artificial agents. The key idea is that mental concepts (e.g. "believes", "desires", "intends", "mood", "emotion", etc.) are grounded in assumptions about information processing architectures, and not merely Newell's knowledge-level concepts, nor concepts based solely on Dennett's "intentional stance."


Filename: Wright_Sloman_MINDER1.pdf
Filename: Wright_Sloman_MINDER1.ps.gz

Title: MINDER1: An implementation of a protoemotional agent architecture
Authors: Ian Wright, Aaron Sloman
Type: Technical Report CSRP-97-1
Date: January 1997 (PDF added 31 Aug 2013)
Institution: University of Birmingham, School of Computer Science
Email: I.P.Wright@cs.bham.ac.uk, A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk
File: /1997/CSRP-97-01.ps.gz (158K compressed, 653K uncompressed.)

Abstract:
An implementation of an autonomous resource-bound agent able to operate in a simulated dynamic and complex domain is described. The agent, called MINDER1, is a partial realisation of an architecture for motive processing and attention. It is shown that a global processing state, called perturbance, can emerge from interactions of subcomponents of the architecture. Perturbant states are characteristic features of many states that are commonly called emotional. The agent is compared to other computer simulations of emotional phenomena.


Filename: Wright_Aube_eom.pdf
Filename: Wright_Aube_eom.ps.gz

Title: The society of mind requires an economy of mind
Authors: Ian Wright, Michel Aube
Type: Technical Report CSRP-97-6
Date: January 1997 (PDF added 31 Aug 2013)
Email: I.P.Wright@cs.bham.ac.uk
File: /1997/CSRP-97-06.ps.gz (78K compressed, 199K uncompressed.)

Abstract:
A society of mind will require an economy of mind, that is multi-agent systems (MAS) that meet a requirement for the adaptive allocation and reallocation of scarce resources will need to use a quantitative universal representation of value that mirrors the flow of agent products, much as money is used in simple commodity economies. The money-commodity is shown to be an emergent exchange convention that serves both to constrain and allow the formation of commitments by functioning as an ability to buy processing power. MAS with both currency flow and minimally economic agents can adaptively allocate and reallocate control relations and scarce resources, in particular labour or processing power. The implications of these views are outlined for MAS research and cognitive science.


Filename: Sloman.actual.possibilities.ps
Filename: Sloman.actual.possibilities.pdf
Filename: misc/actual.possibilities.html
Title: Actual Possibilities
Authors: Aaron Sloman

in Luigia Carlucci Aiello and Stuart C. Shapiro (eds), Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference (KR '96), Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1996, pp 627-638,
Date: Nov 1996
Email: A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk

Abstract
This is a philosophical 'position paper', starting from the observation that we have an intuitive grasp of a family of related concepts of "possibility", "causation" and "constraint" which we often use in thinking about complex mechanisms, and perhaps also in perceptual processes, which according to Gibson are primarily concerned with detecting positive and negative affordances, such as support, obstruction, graspability, etc. We are able to talk about, think about, and perceive possibilities, such as possible shapes, possible pressures, possible motions, and also risks, opportunities and dangers. We can also think about constraints linking such possibilities. If such abilities are useful to us (and perhaps other animals) they may be equally useful to intelligent artefacts. All this bears on a collection of different more technical topics, including modal logic, constraint analysis, qualitative reasoning, naive physics, the analysis of functionality, and the modelling design processes. The paper suggests that our ability to use knowledge about "de-re" modality is more primitive than the ability to use "de-dicto" modalities, in which modal operators are applied to sentences. The paper explores these ideas, links them to notions of "causation" and "machine", suggests that they are applicable to virtual or abstract machines as well as physical machines. The concept of "possibility-transducer" is introduced. Some conclusions are drawn regarding the nature of mind and consciousness.


Filename: Sloman.emotions.mit96.slides.ps
Title: What sort of architecture can support emotionality?
(Slides for a talk at MIT Media Lab, Nov 1996. Now out of date.)
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Date: Nov 1996
Abstract:
Although much research on emotions is done on other animals (e.g. rats) there seem to be certain characteristically human emotional states which interest poets, novelists, and gossips, such as excited anticipation of an election victory, humiliation at being dismissed. Similar states are inevitable in intelligent robots. Obviously these states involve conceptual abilities not shared by most other mammals. Less obviously, they involve "perturbant" states in which there is partial loss of control of thought processes: you want to prepare that lecture but your mind is drawn back to the source of joy or pain. This presupposes the ability to be in control: you cannot lose what you've never had. The talk contrasts the design-based approach to the study of mind with other approaches. The former involves explorations of "design space", "niche space", and their interconnections. A design-based theory is presented which shows how emotional (perturbant) states are possible.


Filename: Kovacs.optimal.xcs.ps.gz
Title: Evolving Optimal Populations with XCS Classifier Systems

Authors: Tim Kovacs
Type: Technical Report CSR-96-17
Date: October 1996
Institution: University of Birmingham, School of Computer Science
File: /1996/CSR-96-17.ps.gz (269K compressed, 1551K uncompressed.)

Abstract:
This work investigates some uses of self-monitoring in classifier systems (CS) using Wilson's recent XCS system as a framework. XCS is a significant advance in classifier systems technology which shifts the basis of fitness evaluation for the Genetic Algorithm (GA) from the strength of payoff prediction to the accuracy of payoff prediction. Initial work consisted of implementing an XCS system in Pop-11 and replicating published XCS multiplexer experiments from (Wilson 1995, 1996a). In subsequent original work, the XCS Optimality Hypothesis, which suggests that under certain conditions XCS systems can reliably evolve optimal populations (solutions), is proposed. An optimal population is one which accurately maps inputs to actions to reward predictions using the smallest possible set of classifiers. An optimal XCS population forms a complete mapping of the payoff environment in the reinforcement learning tradition, in contrast to traditional classifier systems which only seek to maximise classifier payoff (reward). The more complete payoff map allows XCS to deal with payoff landscapes with more than 1 niche (i.e. those with more than 2 payoff levels) which traditional payoff-maximising CS find very difficult. This makes XCS much more suitable as the foundation of animat control systems than traditional CS. In support of the Optimality Hypothesis, techniques were developed which allow the system to highly reliably evolve optimal populations for logical multiplexer functions. A technique for auto-termination of learning was also developed to allow the system to recognise when an optimal population has been evolved. The self-monitoring mechanisms involved in this work are discussed in terms of the design space of adaptive systems.
Filename: Davis.atal96.ps
Title: Reactive and Motivational Agents: Towards a Collective Minder

Author: Darryl Davis, now at Staffordshire.
In Proceedings Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, at 12th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Budapest, Hungary, August 1996
Date: 29 Sep 1998 (inserted here)

Abstract:
This paper explores the design and implementation of a societal arrangement of reflexive and motivational agents which will act as the building blocks for a more abstract agent within which the current agents act as distributed dynamic processing nodes. We contest that reactive, deliberative and other behaviours are required in complete (intelligent) agents. We provide some architectural considerations on how these differing forms of behaviours can be cleanly integrated and relate that to a discussion on the nature of motivational states and the mechanisms used for making decisions.


SUPERSEDED (Revised version now in Sloman.what.arch.ps.gz, above)
Title: What sort of architecture is required for a human-like agent?

(Invited talk at Cognitive Modeling Workshop, AAAI96, Portland Oregon, Aug 1996.)
Authors: Aaron Sloman
Date: August 1996


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/authors/B.S.Logan/plansig-96.ps.gz
Title: Route planning in the space of complete plans
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli
In Proceedings of the 15th Workshop of the UK Planning and Scheduling Special Interest Group, 21-22 November 1996, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, pp 233-240 (also available as University of Birmingham School of Computer Science technical report CSRP-97-18).
Date: July 1996

Abstract:


Filename: ftp://ftp.cs.bham.ac.uk/pub/tech-reports/1996/CSRP-96-07.ps.gz
Title: On the relations between search and evolutionary algorithms
Authors: Brian Logan and Riccardo Poli
Technical report CSRP-96-07, University of Birmingham School of Computer Science, 1996.
Date: June 1996

Abstract:


Filename: Wright.apacle.pdf
Filename: Wright.apacle.ps
Title: Design Requirements for a Computational Libidinal Economy

Authors: Ian Wright
Type: Technical Report CSRP-96-11
Date: June 1996
Institution: University of Birmingham, School of Computer Science
File: /1996/CSRP-96-11.ps.gz (134K compressed, 373K uncompressed.)

Abstract:
Design requirements for a computational libidinal economy are presented that constitute a preliminary theory of basic types of motivation and learning. The theory avoids many of the difficulties of Freudian libido theory and has new arguments in favour of it. A corollary is a circulation of value theory of simple affect that builds upon existing information processing theories of emotion. Such a theory can account for some forms of cognitive pleasure and unpleasure, in particular the feelings involved in attachment and loss.


Filename: Aaron.Sloman.consciousness.lecture.pdf
Filename: Aaron.Sloman.consciousness.lecture.ps.gz
Title: A systems approach to consciousness (Slides for lecture to RSA London, Feb 1996)
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Date: Feb 1996


Filename: Ian.Wright_animat_emotions.ps.gz
Filename: Ian.Wright_animat_emotions.txt.gz (Plain text version).

Title: Reinforcement learning and animat emotions
Authors: Ian Wright
Date: 24 Jan 1996
Abstract:
Emotional states, such as happiness or sadness, pose particular problems for information processing theories of mind. Hedonic components of states, unlike cognitive components, lack representational content. Research within Artificial Life, in particular the investigation of adaptive agent architectures, provides insights into the dynamic relationship between motivation, the ability of control sub-states to gain access to limited processing resources, and prototype emotional states. Holland's learning classifier system provides a concrete example of this relationship, demonstrating simple 'emotion-like' states, much as a thermostat demonstrates simple 'belief-like' and 'desire-like' states. This leads to the conclusion that valency, a particular form of pleasure or displeasure, is a self-monitored process of credit-assignment. The importance of the movement of a domain-independent representation of utility within adaptive architectures is stressed. Existing information processing theories of emotion can be enriched by a 'circulation of value' design hypothesis. Implications for the development of emotional animats are considered.


Filename: Aaron.Sloman.rock.pdf (PDF)
HTML version.
Filename: Aaron.Sloman.rock.ps.gz (Compressed Postscript)
Title: What is it like to be a Rock? (DRAFT)
Authors: Aaron Sloman

Date: 24 Jan 1996

Abstract:
This (semi-serious) paper aims to replace deep sounding unanswerable, time-wasting pseudo-questions which are often posed in the context of attacking some version of the strong AI thesis, with deep, discovery-driving, real questions about the nature and content of internal states of intelligent agents of various kinds. In particular the question 'What is it like to be an X?' is often thought to identify a type of phenomenon for which no physical conditions can be sufficient, and which cannot be replicated in computer-based agents. This paper tries to separate out (a) aspects of the question that are important and provide part of the objective characterisation of the states, or capabilities of an agent, and which help to define the ontology that is to be implemented in modelling such an agent, from (b) aspects that are incoherent. The paper supports a philosophical position that is anti-reductionist without being dualist or mystical.


Filename: Aaron.Sloman.vienna.ps.gz
Filename: Aaron.Sloman.vienna.pdf
Title: What sort of control system is able to have a personality?

Authors: Aaron Sloman
in Robert Trappl and Paolo Petta (eds), Creating Personalities for Synthetic Actors: Towards Autonomous Personality Agents, Springer (Lecture notes in AI), 1997 pp 166--208,
(Originally presented at Workshop on Designing personalities for synthetic actors, Vienna, June 1995. Includes some edited transcripts of discussion following presentation.)
Date: 24 Jan 1996

Abstract;
This paper outlines a design-based methodology for the study of mind as a part of the broad discipline of Artificial Intelligence. Within that framework some architectural requirements for human-like minds are discussed, and some preliminary suggestions made regarding mechanisms underlying motivation, emotions, and personality. A brief description is given of the 'Nursemaid' or 'Minder' scenario being used at the University of Birmingham as a framework for research on these problems. It may be possible later to combine some of these ideas with work on synthetic agents inhabiting virtual reality environments.


Filename: Aaron.Sloman_Riccardo.Poli_sim_agent_toolkit.ps.gz
Title: SIM_AGENT: A toolkit for exploring agent designs

in Intelligent Agents Vol II (ATAL-95), Eds. Mike Wooldridge, Joerg Mueller, Milind Tambe, Springer-Verlag 1996 pp 392--407.
Authors: Aaron Sloman and Riccardo Poli
Updated version of: Cognitive Science technical report: CSRP-95-3 School of Computer Science, the University of Birmingham.
Presented at ATAL-95, Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, at IJCAI-95 Workshop, Montreal, August 1995
Date: Oct 1995 version installed here 7 Jan 1996

Abstract:
SIM_AGENT is a toolkit that arose out of a project concerned with designing an architecture for an autonomous agent with human-like capabilities. Analysis of requirements showed a need to combine a wide variety of richly interacting mechanisms, including independent asynchronous sources of motivation and the ability to reflect on which motives to adopt, when to achieve them, how to achieve them, and so on. These internal 'management' (and meta-management) processes involve a certain amount of parallelism, but resource limits imply the need for explicit control of attention. Such control problems can lead to emotional and other characteristically human affective states. In order to explore these ideas, we needed a toolkit to facilitate experiments with various architectures in various environments, including other agents. The paper outlines requirements and summarises the main design features of a Pop-11 toolkit supporting both rule-based and 'sub-symbolic' mechanisms. Some experiments including hybrid architectures and genetic algorithms are summarised.


Filename: Wright_Sloman_Beaudoin_grief.pdf (PDF searchable since 31 Mar 2013)
Filename: Wright_Sloman_Beaudoin_grief.html (HTML)
Filename: Wright_Sloman_Beaudoin_grief.text (Plain text, without diagrams)

Title: Towards a Design-Based Analysis of Emotional Episodes
Authors: Ian Wright, Aaron Sloman, Luc Beaudoin

Date: Oct 1995 (published 1996)

Appeared (with commentaries) in Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology, vol 3 no 2, 1996, pp 101--126.

Journal web site: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/philosophy_psychiatry_and_psychology/v003/3.2wright01.html

The commentaries, by

are available here http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/philosophy_psychiatry_and_psychology/toc/ppp3.2.html followed by a reply by the authors.

(This is a revised version of the paper presented to the Geneva Emotions Workshop, April 1995 entitled The Architectural Basis for Grief.)

Abstract:

The design-based approach is a methodology for investigating mechanisms capable of generating mental phenomena, whether introspectively or externally observed, and whether they occur in humans, other animals or robots. The study of designs satisfying requirements for autonomous agency can provide new deep theoretical insights at the information processing level of description of mental mechanisms. Designs for working systems (whether on paper or implemented on computers) can systematically explicate old explanatory concepts and generate new concepts that allow new and richer interpretations of human phenomena. To illustrate this, some aspects of human grief are analysed in terms of a particular information processing architecture being explored in our research group.

We do not claim that this architecture is part of the causal structure of the human mind; rather, it represents an early stage in the iterative search for a deeper and more general architecture, capable of explaining more phenomena. However even the current early design provides an interpretative ground for some familiar phenomena, including characteristic features of certain emotional episodes, particularly the phenomenon of perturbance (a partial or total loss of control of attention).

The paper attempts to expound and illustrate the design-based approach to cognitive science and philosophy, to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of the approach in generating interpretative possibilities, and to provide first steps towards an information processing account of 'perturbant', emotional episodes.

Many of the architectural ideas have been developed further in later papers and presentations, all available online, e.g.


Filename: Sloman.turing90.ps (Postscript)
Filename: Sloman.turing90.pdf (PDF)
Title: Beyond Turing Equivalence
Authors: Aaron Sloman

In: Machines and Thought: The Legacy of Alan Turing (vol I), eds P.J.R. Millican and A. Clark, 1996, OUP(The Clarendon Press) pp 179--219,
Revised version of paper presented to Turing Colloquium, University of Sussex, 1990.
Date: Mon May 8 1995 (Published 1996)

Abstract:
What is the relation between intelligence and computation? Although the difficulty of defining 'intelligence' is widely recognized, many are unaware that it is hard to give a satisfactory definition of 'computational' if computation is supposed to provide a non-circular explanation for intelligent abilities. The only well-defined notion of 'computation' is what can be generated by a Turing machine or a formally equivalent mechanism. This is not adequate for the key role in explaining the nature of mental processes, because it is too general, as many computations involve nothing mental, nor even processes: they are simply abstract structures. We need to combine the notion of 'computation' with that of 'machine'. This may still be too restrictive, if some non-computational mechanisms prove to be useful for intelligence. We need a theory-based taxonomy of {\em architectures} and {\em mechanisms} and corresponding process types. Computational machines may turn out to be a sub-class of the machines available for implementing intelligent agents. The more general analysis starts with the notion of a system with independently variable, causally interacting sub-states that have different causal roles, including both 'belief-like' and 'desire-like' sub-states, and many others. There are many significantly different such architectures. For certain architectures (including simple computers), some sub-states have a semantic interpretation for the system. The relevant concept of semantics is defined partly in terms of a kind of Tarski-like structural correspondence (not to be confused with isomorphism). This always leaves some semantic indeterminacy, which can be reduced by causal loops involving the environment. But the causal links are complex, can share causal pathways, and always leave mental states to some extent semantically indeterminate.

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