AAAI 2017 Fall Symposium Series
November 9-11, 2017, Arlington, Virginia

Human-Agent Groups
Accepted papers are now available via the AAAI Digital Library.
As robots and artificial agents become more prominent in human lives, they also increasingly become parts of groups and teams. Group interaction of humans and agents includes applications such as digital assistants for the home, social robots operating in malls, and groups of robots and artificial agents supporting first responders. However, most research on human-agent interaction still focuses on one human interacting with one agent. Research on group interactions between multiple humans, artificial agents, and robots is important and poses novel challenges not seen through dyadic interactions. It requires gathering and coordinating groups (of humans and/or of artificial agents) and addressing additional factors (e.g, intragroup dynamics) that contribute to a successful interaction.

The AAAI Fall Symposium on Human-Agent Groups: Studies, Algorithms and Challenges aims to bring scholars together to discuss groups in human-agent and human-robot interaction. We seek participation from scholars of multi-agent systems, human groups and human-robot interaction to (a) help inform research in human-agent groups, and (b) to spur interesting research directions in respective parent fields.
Important Dates
  • Aug 2, 2017: Submission due
  • Aug 15, 2017: Notification of acceptance
  • Aug 29, 2017: Camera-ready copy due
  • October 13, 2017: Final registration deadline (link for registration)
  • Nov 9-11, 2017: Symposium at Arlington, Virginia
Perspectives of Interest
We invite researchers, designers, and practitioners with varied perspectives and research interests including:
  • multi-agent systems, robotics, autonomous agents
  • cognitive science, psychology, human factors engineering
  • human-robot interaction (HRI), human-computer interaction (HCI)
  • technology design, and applications involving human-agent groups
Traditionally, research on multi-agent systems in AI have primarily focused on teams of agents, while research in social psychology and related fields has primarily focused on teams of humans. This symposium aims to bring together researchers of groups from varied backgrounds to not only help inform research in human-agent groups, but to also potentially spur interesting research directions in respective parent fields.
Submission Topics
We welcome submissions on any topic and perspective relevant to human-agent groups, including the following sample topics of interest
  • Guidelines and insights from studies of human groups for human-agent groups
  • Tools and techniques from multi-agent systems for human-agent groups
  • Novel applications of AI for human groups, for example,
    • Agents for supporting human teams
    • Agents designed for a group of users (e.g., a digital assistant for the home)
  • Novel challenges in robot/interaction design due to human-agent groups, such as,
    • How does the presence of multiple robots affect human perceptions of and interactions with them?
    • How do features of the robots (e.g., appearance, behavior toward each other) affect that dynamic?
    • How do additional humans (directly or indirectly) affect human-robot interaction?
  • Novel challenges in multi-agent systems design due to human-agent groups, such as,
    • How does presence of humans in groups affect design of planning and learning algorithms for multi-agent systems?
    • How can algorithms from single human-single agent interaction apply to interaction in groups?
  • Novel challenges for supervisory control for supporting human-agent groups
  • Robots and autonomous agents as potential social category
This AAAI Fall symposium on Human-Agent Groups will include invited talks from keynote speakers, paper presentations and workshops, and panel discussions. Schedule for the symposium is included below. The invited talks will discuss research from related fields and perspectives of interest, and their implication for human-agent groups. Accepted papers are now available via the AAAI Digital Library.
Thursday, Nov 9
  • 9:00 - Introduction
  • 9:30 - Invited Talk: Brian Lickel
    The Role of Groups in Human Life: Some Core Ideas to Inform Human-Agent Interaction
  • 10:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00 - Accepted Papers (Talks and Panel Discussion)
    • Mr. Jones - Towards a Proactive Smart Room Orchestrator
      Tathagata Chakraborti, Kartik Talamadupula, Mishal Dholakia,
      Biplav Srivastava, Jeffrey Kephart and Rachel Bellamy
    • Toward Crowd-Sensitive Path Planning
      Anoop Aroor and Susan Epstein
    • Proactive Conversation between Multiple Robots to Improve
      the Sense of Human-Robot Conversation

      Yuichiro Yoshikawa, Takamasa Iio, Tsunehiro Arimoto,
      Hiroaki Sugiyama and Hiroshi Ishiguro
  • 12:30 - Lunch
  • 14:00 - Invited Talk: David Sirkin
    Perspective: Interaction Design
  • 15:00 - Breakout Session #1
  • 15:30 - Coffee Break
  • 16:00 - Accepted Papers (Talks and Panel Discussion)
    • Contextual Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Models
      for Autonomous Robots

      Naouel Ayari, Abdelghani Chibani, Yacine Amirat and Georges Fried
    • Towards Intelligent Decision Support in Human Team Planning
      Joseph Kim and Julie Shah
    • Explanations as Model Reconciliation - A Multi-Agent Perspective
      Sarath Sreedharan, Tathagata Chakraborti and Subbarao Kambhampati
  • 18:00 - AAAI Fall Symposia Reception

Friday, Nov 10
  • 9:00 - Invited Talk: Shiqi Zhang
    Integrated Reasoning and Planning Algorithms for Human-Robot Groups
  • 10:00 - Breakout Session #2
  • 10:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00 - Accepted Papers (Talks and Panel Discussion)
    • Bounty Hunting and Human-Agent Group Task Allocation
      Drew Wicke and Sean Luke
    • Effects of Network Latency on Games with Human and
      Distributed Agent Players

      William Birmingham and Britton Wolfe
    • RADAR - A Proactive Decision Support System for
      Human-in-the-Loop Planning

      Sailik Sengupta, Tathagata Chakraborti, Satya Gautam Vadlamudi,
      Sarath Sreedharan and Subbarao Kambhampati
  • 12:30 - Lunch
  • 14:00 - Invited Talk: Ana Paiva
    Humans and Robots Together: Creating Small Heterogeneous Groups
  • 15:00 - Breakout Session #3
  • 15:30 - Coffee Break
  • 16:00 - Invited Talk: Jeff Nickerson
    Work in the Age of Intelligent Machines
  • 17:00 - Breakout Session #4
  • 18:00 - AAAI Fall Symposia Plenary Session

Saturday, Nov 11
  • 9:00 - Invited Talk: Christopher Amato
    Coordinating Human-Robot Teams in Uncertain Environments: A Multi-Agent Perspective
  • 9:30 - Breakout Session #5
  • 10:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00 - Group Discussion
  • 12:00 - Wrap-up and Closing Remarks
Invited Speakers
  • Ana Paiva, Instituto Superior Técnico, INESC-ID, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

    Ana Maria Paiva is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (Departamento de Engenharia Informática) of Instituto Superior Técnico from the Technical University of Lisbon (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa). She is also the group leader of GAIPS (Grupo de Agentes Inteligentes e Personagens Sintéticas), a research group on agents and synthetic characters at INESC-ID. Her main scientific interests lay in the area of Autonomous Agents, Embodied Conversational Agents and Robots and Multiagent Simulation Systems. Prof. Ana Paiva has been researching in the area of artificial intelligence for the past twenty years, having also taught at IST during that period.

  • Brian Lickel, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Brian Lickel is a social psychologist who studies the role of groups and relationships in human social life. He received his Ph.D. in 2000 from UC Santa Barbara, and is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Brian's work examines the intersection of social cognition, emotion, and social behavior related to groups. This includes work on people's intuitive understanding and folk theories of the operation of different kinds of social groups. From this base on folk theories of groups, Brian and his students have conducted an extensive set of studies on human understanding of collective responsibility (i.e., holding entire groups responsible for the actions of subsets of group members). For example, they have studied the role of collective blame of outgroups in motivating intergroup retaliation, group-based discrimination, and support for intergroup violence. On the flip-side, they have also examined when and why people take personal responsibility for things done by their groups and fellow group members, and come to feel emotions such as shame and guilt for the actions of others. Throughout his work, Brian integrates a functionalist perspective (i.e., what is purpose or goal of the mechanism under study?) with a process perspective (i.e., how does this mechanism operate - what are the proximal inputs, cognitive representations built, and outputs generated?).

  • Christopher Amato, Northeastern University

    Christopher Amato is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University. He received a BA from Tufts University and an MS and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Amato was a Research Scientist at Aptima, Inc. and a Postdoc and Research Scientist at MIT as well as an Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire. He has published papers in leading artificial intelligence and robotics conferences (including winning a best paper prize at AAMAS-14 and being nominated for the best paper at RSS-15). He also successfully co-organized several tutorials on team decision making and co-authored a book on the same subject. His research focuses on decision making under uncertainty in multi-agent and multi-robot systems.

  • Shiqi Zhang, Cleveland State University

    Dr. Shiqi Zhang is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cleveland State University. From 2014 to 2016, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow working on a team of mobile service robots in a Building Wide Intelligence project at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his PhD in Computer Science (2013) from Texas Tech University. Before that, he received his Master's (2008) and BS (2006) from Harbin Institute of Technology in China. He was a visiting student at Tsinghua University in 2007 and 2008, and interned at Microsoft Research Asia in 2012. Dr. Zhang's research lies in the intersection of artificial intelligence and robotics. He is particularly interested in developing algorithms that integrate computational modalities of planning, reasoning, and learning for service robots that work in human-inhabited, everyday environments, such as homes, hospitals and offices. Additional details about Dr. Zhang and his research can be found on his personal page.

  • Jeffrey Nickerson, Stevens Institute of Technology

    Jeffrey V. Nickerson is professor and Associate Dean of Research in the School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research is about collective creativity, how crowds and online communities can jointly design solutions to challenging social problems. He is co-PI on a recently awarded NSF Convergence grant. Convergence involves finding a common language for those in different disciplines to use, as well as identifying ways of benchmarking and sharing progress in multiple domains. As part of this NSF grant, a Research Collaboration Network spanning the computational and social sciences is being constructed, and all workshop participants are invited to become involved.

  • David Sirkin, Stanford University

    David Sirkin is a Research Associate at Stanford University's Center for Design Research, where he focuses on design methodology, as well as the design of physical interactions between humans and robots, and autonomous vehicles and their interfaces. He is also a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, where he teaches interactive device design. David frequently collaborates with, and consults for, local Silicon Valley and global technology companies including Siemens, SAP and Microsoft Research. He grew up in Florida, near the Everglades, and in Maine, near the lobsters.

Organizing Committee
  • Marlena Fraune, Indiana University
  • Vaibhav Unhelkar, MIT
  • Bradley Hayes, MIT
  • Selma Šabanović, Indiana University
  • Julie Shah, MIT
  • Friederike Eyssel, Bielefeld University
  • Malte Jung, Cornell University
Contact Us
Please send questions or comments to the organizing committee at