PsychSim: modeling theory of mind with decision-theoretic agents
Agent-based modeling of human social behavior is an increasingly important research area. A key factor in human social interaction is our beliefs about others, a theory of mind. Whether we believe a message depends not only on its content but also on our model of the communicator. How we act depends not only on the immediate effect but also on how we believe others will react. In this paper, we discuss PsychSim, an implemented multiagent-based simulation tool for modeling interactions and influence. While typical approaches to such modeling have used first-order logic, Psych-Sim agents have their own decision-theoretic model of the world, including beliefs about its environment and recursive models of other agents. Using these quantitative models of uncertainty and preferences, we have translated existing psychological theories into a decision-theoretic semantics that allow the agents to reason about degrees of believability in a novel way. We discuss PsychSim's underlying architecture and describe its application to a school violence scenario for illustration.