Multi-Agent Systems for Education and Interactive Entertainment: Design, Use and Experience

Multi-Agent Systems for Education and Interactive Entertainment: Design, Use and Experience

Martin Beer (Sheffield Hallam University, UK), Maria Fasli (University of Essex, UK) and Debbie Richards (Macquarie University, Australia)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: November, 2010|Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 330
ISBN13: 9781609600808|ISBN10: 1609600800|EISBN13: 9781609600822|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-080-8

Description

The increased sophistication of the multi-agent software now becoming available is allowing much more sophisticated learning scenarios to be attempted. This has caused interest in the role of artificial intelligence in interactive systems to grow in recent years. Increasingly powerful consumer hardware makes research-level AI usable in real-world games and/or immersive learning environments.

Multi-Agent Systems for Education and Interactive Entertainment: Design, Use and Experience presents readers with a rich collection of ideas from researchers who are exploring the complex tradeoffs that must be made in designing agent systems for education and interactive entertainment. This book aims to provide a mixture of relevant theoretical and practical understanding of the use of multi-agent systems in educational and entertainment research, together with practical examples of the use of such systems in real application scenarios.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • (Immersive) Virtual Reality/Environment
  • Agent-Based Modeling
  • An Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Systems course involving NetLogo
  • And
  • Case-Based Reasoning
  • Cognitive, Emotion and Personality Modelling
  • Complex Systems Development
  • Domain Trainers
  • E-learning platforms
  • Embodied Agents
  • Game Development
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Intelligent Emotional Agents in e-learning systems
  • Knowledge Acquisition
  • Knowledge Based Reasoning
  • Language Technology including Speech, Linguistics, Dialogue
  • Multi-Agent Environments and Social Systems
  • Multi-User Virtual Environments and Agents
  • Multiagent Systems
  • Recommender Agents
  • Scenario analysis
  • Storytelling/Narrative Engines
  • Teaching AI and IA
  • User Modelling
  • Virtual Training

Reviews and Testimonials

The range of topics covered is extensive, and introduces many of the issues that need to be addressed if the educational, training and entertainment capabilities of Multi-Agent systems are to be realised fully over the next few years.

– Martin Beer, Sheffield Hallam University, UK; Maria Fasli, University of Essex, UK; and Debbie Richards, Macquarie University, Australia

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Preface

This book is based on a selection of papers presented at the International Workshop on the Educational Uses of Multi-Agent Systems (EduMAS) which was held in conjunction with the International Workshop on Agent Based Systems for Human Learning and Entertainment (ABSHLE) at the Eighth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS) held in Budapest Hungary, in May 2009.  This was the latest of a series of workshops dating from 2004 (EduMAS) and 2005 (ABSHL(E)), each of which has explored both the educational opportunities offered by Multi-Agent systems and educational uses of such systems to provide much more interactive and realistic educational and educational scenarios.  

This structure is reflected in the two major sections of this book.  The first explores the educational opportunities both within the Computing subject area and those that have been explored in other subject areas.  The first two chapters explore the capabilities and uses of NetLogo.  The third chapter investigates how creative design can be incorporated more effectively into Software Engineering courses, which all too often concentrate on the technological design issues, rather than creativity.  The fourth chapter considers how the introduction of Multi-Agent concepts can be used to better explain the many complex concepts that are part of the study of Computing.

The second section of the book looks at some of the ways that the technology can be used to assist in presenting often complex educational, training and other material much more effectively.  The first two chapters explore the use of agents and MAS as a means to assist learning. A number of tensions accompany the use of agents in these contexts, since the goal is not to simulate Autonomous Agents for their own sake, but to use them to create an interactive experience with a pre-defined goal for the human user: either to learn a curriculum or to experience an engaging and rich world (or both, in the case of "edutainment"). Unlike fully author-controlled experiences  such as films and plays, or fully scripted computer-aided instructional systems, dynamic interactive experiences require a world that can appropriately and meaningfully respond to the user - a natural fit for intelligent and believable agents. At the same time, however, system designers want to shape users' experiences, presenting new research challenges to address the interplay between player autonomy and designer intent. Thus, within this area of research, there is a design space that ranges from complete autonomy for agents to complete control for an agent coordinator.  

The final five chapters explore specific issues related to the development of educational and entertainment activities using Multi-Agent systems.  The first explores some of the issues that need to be considered when developing educational materials using Multi-Agent technology, the second introduces the need to consider emotion into the Human-Agent interactions, the third presents a method by which such materials can be developed more rapidly and cost effectively, involving the domain experts in the design process. The fourth chapter introduces the advantages of personalisation and the final chapter recounts experiences in using recommender agents to assist students to understand the uses of agency for solving real world problems.

The range of topics covered is extensive, and introduces many of the issues that need to be addressed if the educational, training and entertainment capabilities of Multi-Agent systems are to be realised fully over the next few years.  We hope that you find this book informative and that it helps you to understand the capabilities offered by introducing agents into your learning, teaching and educational environments.

Martin Beer
Debbie Richards

Indices

Editorial Board

  • Juan Carlos Augusto, University of Ulster, United Kingdom 
  • Peplluis de la Rosa, University of Girona, Spain
  • Joerg Denzinger, University of Calgary, Canada 
  • Rachel Goshorn, Naval Postgraduate School, United States
  • Michael Jacobson, University of Sydney, Australia 
  • Petros Kefalas, CITY College, Greece 
  • Eleni Mangina, University College Dublin, Ireland 
  • Riichiro Mizoguchi, University of Osaka, Japan
  • Antonio Moreno, University Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Agostino Poggi, Universita' degli Studi di Parma, Italy
  • Colin Price, University of Worcester, United Kingdom 
  • Ilias Sakellariou, University of Macedonia, Greece
  • Simon Lynch, University of Teeside, United Kingdom 
  • Demosthenes Stamatis, TEI, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Ioanna Stamatopoulou, CITY College, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, Greece
  • Rainer Unland, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Harko Verhagen, Stockholm University/KTH, Sweden