Motivating the Imputation of Agent Cognition

Sven A. Brueckner, H. Van Dyke Parunak

A cognitive model of an agent or a multi-agent system greatly enhances high-level human interaction with engineered systems. Modern work on "BDI agents" emphasizes explicit representation of cognitive attributes in the design and construction of an agent, but there are several circumstances in which this approach cannot yield the desired perspicuity, including fine-grained agents without explicit internal representation of cognitive attributes, agents whose inner structures are not accessible, and the emergent properties of swarms of interacting agents of any type. We propose that cognition can legitimately be imputed externally to a system irrespective of its internal structure, and we demonstrate this notion in examples, including swarm-based emergent path planning for unpiloted vehicles.

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