Experimentally Evaluating Communicative Strategies: The Effect of the Task

Marilyn A. Walker

Effective problem solving among multiple agents requires a better understanding of the role of communication in collaboration. In this paper we show that there are communicative strategies that greatly improve the performance of resource-bounded agents, but that these strategies are highly sensitive to the task requirements, situation parameters and agents’ resource limitations. We base our argument on two sources of evidence: (1) an analysis of a corpus of 55 problem solving dialogues, and (2) experimental simulations of collaborative problem solving dialogues in an experimental world, Design-World, where we parameterize task requirements, agents’ resources and communicative strategies.


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