Information needs in agent teamwork

John Yen, Xiaocong Fan, Richard A. Volz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Members of effective human teams can often anticipate information needs of teammates and offer relevant information to them proactively. Such capabilities are highly desirable for agent teams to achieve better teamwork processes for supporting information gathering, information fusion, and decision makings of teammates. However, there is a lack of agent theories for specifying such proactive agent behavior. The starting point of establishing such a theory is to formally characterize the concept of "information-need" and provide a framework for reasoning about others' information-needs. To this end, in this paper we (1) introduce a modal operator to represent agents' information-needs; (2) investigate levels of information-needs using the idea of precondition-tree; (3) identify several types of information-needs prevalent in agent teamwork; (4) provide and justify the axioms for anticipating others' information-needs; and (5) to complete the framework, introduce an axiom for enabling agents to commit to helping others with their information-needs. This paper thus provides a formal basis for developing agent theories about proactive information delivery behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalWeb Intelligence and Agent Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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