Building a Testbed for Studying Service

Wayne Iba and Nicholas Burwell

Performing a task for a user is one part of assistance. As a prior step, a helper must identify which of a possible number of tasks should be assisted. We intend to study the requirements that enable service to be rendered and understand the factors that impact the delivery of assistance. Toward this end, we extended a simulated environment to use as our testbed for developing and evaluating approaches to service. Our new testbed, Maeden, supports multiple agents, communication between agents, and records detailed logs of agents’ behavior. We used the testbed in preliminary studies of servant and recipient behavior and interaction. Results hint at the usefulness of the testbed.

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