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SSG Seminar Abstract

Reasoning about Rationality and Beliefs

Ya'akov (Kobi) Gal
CSAIL, MIT and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Computer systems are increasingly being used in settings in which groups of people and computer systems interact, whether collaboratively or competitively. In these settings, participants' beliefs about each other's reasoning processes play a crucial role in their decision-making. This talk will present theoretical and empirical studies relating to the design of computer agents for making effective decisions when they reason about their own and others' beliefs. I will present a graphical formalism that makes explicit the different mental models agents use to make their decisions, described as nodes in a graphical network. The formalism defines a novel equilibrium concept that makes a distinction between agents' optimal strategies and how agents actually behave in reality. I will show how such formalisms can be used successfully in human-computer negotiation, opponent modeling and intelligent tutor applications.

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