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«Abstract. Using Punch and Judy as a story domain, we describe an interactive puppet show, where the flow and content of the story can be influenced ...»

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The permissions an agent has constrain the choices of actions available to them at any given moment. Obligations affect the goals of an agent. Whether or not an agent actively tries to fulfil an obligation depends on their emotional state.

3.1 Institution example Here we continue the ‘sausages and crocodile’ scene example from section 2.1, taking the Propp story functions and describing them in an institutional model. We define our institution in terms of fluents, events, powers, permissions and obligations, following [6].

Fluents These are properties that may or may not hold true at some instant in time, and that change over the course of time. Institutional events are able to initiate or terminate fluents at points in time. A fluent could describe whether a character is currently on stage, the scene of the story that is currently being acted out, or whether or not the character is happy at that moment in time. Domain fluents (D) describe domain-specific properties that can hold at a certain point in time. In the Punch and Judy domain, these can be

whether or not an agent is on stage, or their role in the narrative:

D = {onstage, hero, villain, victim, donor, item}

Institutional fluents consist of institutional powers, permissions and obligations. An institutional power (W) describes whether or not an external event has the authority to meaningfully generate an institutional event. Taking an examle from Propp’s formalism, an absentation event can only be generated by an external event brought about by a donor character (such as their leaving the stage). Therefore, any characters other than the donor character would not have the institutional power to generate an absentation institutional event when they leave the stage. The possible empowerments (institutional

events) from Propp used in Punch and Judy are:

W = {pow(introduction), pow(interdiction), pow(give), pow(absentation), pow(violation), pow(return)} Permissions (P) are external actions that agents are permitted to do at a certain instant in time. These can be thought of as the set of socially permitted actions available to an agent. While it is possible for an agent to perform other actions, societal norms usually discourage them from doing so. For example, it would make sense in the world of Punch and Judy if Punch were to give the sausages to the Policeman. It is always Joey who gives the sausages to Punch. Also, it would be strange if Joey were to do this in the middle of a scene where Punch and Judy are arguing. We make sure agents’ actions are governed so as to allow them only a certain subset of permitted actions at any one time.

The set of permission fluents is:

P = {perm(leavestage), perm(enterstage), perm(die), perm(kill), perm(hit), perm(give), perm(fight)}

–  –  –

Fig. 1. External, institutional and violation events for Punch and Judy Anybody who has seen a Punch and Judy show knows that at some point Joey tells Punch to guard some sausages, before disappearing offstage. Joey’s departure is modelled in the institution as the absentation event. It could also be said that Joey has an obligation to leave the stage as part of the absentation event, otherwise the story function

is violated. This can be described in the institution as:

O = {obl(leavestage, absentation, viol(absentation))} The first argument is the external event that must be triggered according to the obligation, the second argument is the deadline Institutional event, and the third argument is the violation event which is triggered if the obligation is not fulfilled before the deadline.

Events Cliffe’s model specifies three types of event: external events (or ‘observed events’, Eobs ), institutional events (Einstevent ) and violation events (Eviol ). Examples of each are given in figure 1. External events are observed to have happened in the agents’ environment, which can generate institutional events which occur only within the institional model, leading to the initiation or termination of (domain) fluents, permissions, obligations or institutional powers. An external event could be an agent leaving the stage, an agent hitting another, or an agent dying. Internal events include narrative events such as scene changes, or the triggering of Propp story functions such as absentation or interdiction (described in section 2). Violation is the name of a Propp story function, and is included as an internal event, though it has no relation to the violation events of an institution. Violation events occur when an agent has failed to fulfil an obligation before the specified deadline. These can be implemented in the form of a penalty, by decreasing an agent’s health, for example.

–  –  –

Event generation functions follow a preconditions → {postconditions} format. The preconditions consist of a set of fluents that hold at that time, along with an event to have occurred. The postconditions are the events that are generated. The generation functions are used to generate internal, institutional events from external events.

Consider the Punch and Judy scenario described in section 2.1. There are seven institutional events (story functions) that occur during this scene: interdiction, complicity, receipt (from Propp’s receipt of a magical agent) absentation, violation, struggle, return. These institutional events are all generated by external events. The interdiction is generated when Joey tells Punch to protect the sausages. Punch agreeing amounts to complicity. Joey gives punch the sausages (receipt), then leaves the stage (absentation). The crocodile eating the sausages is a violation of Punch’s oath, the agents fight (struggle), then Joey enters the stage again (return).





It is desirable that these story functions occur in this sequence in order for a satisfying narrative to emerge. Agents may decide to perform actions that diverge from this set of events, but the institution is guiding them towards the most fitting outcome for a Punch and Judy world. For this reason, a currently active story function can be the precondition for event generation. For example, the receipt event may only be triggered if an agent externally performs a give action and if the complicity event currently holds (rule 6).

Examples of event generation function for this scenario, complete with preconditions, are listed in rules 4–10.

Consequences consist of fluents, permissions and obligations that are initiated (C ↑ ) or terminated (C ↓ ) by institutional events. For example, the institutional event receipt initiates the donor agent’s permission to leave the stage, triggering the absentation event (rule 12). When the interdiction event is currently active and a violation event occurs, the interdiction event is terminated (19). Rules 11–20 in figures 3 and 4 describe the initiation and termination of fluents in the Punch and Judy sausages scene detailed in section 2.1.

4 VAD emotional model

–  –  –

4.1 VAD emotions in Jason Emotions are implemented as beliefs inside an agent. An agent believes it has a certain level of valence, arousal and dominance, and it works out its emotional state based on a combination of these three factors. When the audience cheers or boos them, this changes the belief holding the relevant emotional variable, and their emotional state as a whole is recalculated.

Valence, arousal and dominance values can take values of -1 (low), 0 (medium) or 1 (high). Listing 1.1 shows the emotional belief rules for an agent with medium dominance (a dominance level of 0). Note that an agent maintains beliefs about both its current emotion label (such as sleepy or happy) and the separate valence, arousal and dominance values at the same time. Similar sets of rules handle the belief emotion for the other dominance levels.

Every time an emotional variable (valence, arousal, or dominance) changes, an agent’s emotion is changed according to the rules in listing 1.1. While an agent’s valence, Listing 1.1. Emotional rules for a character with medium dominance 1 emotion(sleepy) :- valence(0) & arousal(-1) & dominance(0).

2 emotion(neutral) :- valence(0) & arousal(0) & dominance(0).

3 emotion(surprised) :- valence(0) & arousal(1) & dominance(0).

4 emotion(anxious) :- valence(-1) & arousal(-1) & dominance(0).

5 emotion(unhappy) :- valence(-1) & arousal(0) & dominance(0).

6 emotion(embarrassed) :- valence(-1) & arousal(1) & dominance(0).

7 emotion(glad) :- valence(1) & arousal(-1) & dominance(0).

8 emotion(happy) :- valence(1) & arousal(0) & dominance(0).

9 emotion(delighted) :- valence(1) & arousal(1) & dominance(0).

Listing 1.2.

AgentSpeak rules for changing an agent’s emotional values from audience responses 1 +!changeMood 2 - ?emotion(Z);

3 emotion(Z).

5 +response(_, boo) : asking 6 - -+valence(-1);

7 -+dominance(-1);

8 !changeMood.

10 +response(_, cheer) : asking 11 - -+valence(1);

12 -+dominance(1);

13 !changeMood.

arousal and dominance belief values affect the way it makes decisions internally, the results of combinations of these values (sleepy, happy, etc) are broadcast as external actions. The reason for this is that an agent’s emotional state may affect the way in which the character is animated: changing the speed at which they move or turning their smile into a frown, for example. For this reason, whenever an emotional change takes place, the new emotion is published as an external action of the agent so that observing entities may perceive it. The Bath sensor framework described in section 6.3 provides the means for this evidence of the agent’s internal state change to be received by the animation system and reflected accordingly in the display.

Listing 1.2 shows the AgentSpeak rules describing how an agent’s valence and dominance levels are changed by the audience cheering or booing their actions.

These AgentSpeak plans describe what the agent should do in response to a goal addition (denoted by a +! at the start of the plan name) or a belief addition (prefixed by a simple +). In the case of listing 1.2, the +!changeMood plan updates the agent’s emotional state based on its valence-arousal-dominance values and broadcasts the result as an external action. The plans named +response raise or lower an agent’s valence and dominance levels depending on whether the agent perceives a “boo” or “cheer” response from the audience.

An agent announces what they intent to do, then waits three seconds. During this time, they have the belief that they are ‘asking’ the audience, and listen for a response.

A boo reduces an agent’s valence and dominance, while a cheer raises them. For each response, the changeMood goal is triggered, which looks up and broadcasts the agent’s emotional state to the other agents and environment.

5 Agent decision making The agents choose which goals to pursue according to three factors: their permitted actions, their obliged actions and their emotional state. Though obliged actions are given priority, and while agents’ decisions are generally constrained by their permitted actions, an agent’s emotional state has the final say in its decisions. In this way, an agent will follow the social norms of the narrative, but only according to their own mood.

5.1 Agent goals and plans The agents are implemented using a belief-desire-intention (BDI) psychological model using the Jason platform [4]. An agent’s knowledge about the state of their world and themselves are stored as beliefs, with new information coming in from the environment getting added to their belief base as percepts, which are ephemeral and only last for one reasoning cycle of an agent.

Agents are created with goals and plan libraries. Any goal that an agent is set on carrying out at any point is an intention, whereas a goal that an agent has but is not yet pursuing is a desire. Plan libraries describe the steps agents need to take in order to achieve goals, as well as how to react to changes in agents’ environments.



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