Studying Service: An Exploration of the Costs and Benefits of Assistance

Wayne Iba and Nick Burwell, Westmont College

If we are to provide systems that benefit human users, we need a better understanding of the nature of service. In this paper, we describe the necessary characteristics of a simulator for studying service, and then present MÆDEN, our attempt to satisfy those requirements. We then proceed to describe an initial set of agents that we use to explore the nature of service. Our experiments confirm the usefulness of MÆDEN as a testbed, but also point toward insights into service in general. We end with a discussion of future work intended to explore those insights.

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