Agents that Learn to Instruct

Richard Angros, Jr., W. Lewis Johnson, Jeff Rickel

This paper describes a software agent that learns procedural knowledge from a human instructor well enough to teach human students. In order to teach, the agent needs more than the ability to perform a procedure. It must also be able to monitor human students performing the procedure and be able to articulate the reasons why actions are necessary. Our research concentrates on helping an instructor instruct the agent in a natural manner, on reducing the burden on the instructor, and on focusing learning on the procedure being taught. Initially the agent has little domain knowledge. The instructor demonstrates a procedure by directly manipulating a simulated environment. However, one demonstration is not sufficient for understanding the causal relationships between a demonstration’s actions. Unfortunately, the more demonstrations a procedure requires, the greater the instructor’s burden. However, fewer demonstrations can be required if the agent autonomously experiments. Our experiments attempt to understand the causal dependencies between a demonstration’s actions by perturbing the order of the demonstration’s actions.


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