About the Symposium

Human users generally operate in a complex dynamic environment where they face challenges due to cognitive overload in planning and re-planning; that is, the users must perform multiple concurrent tasks including: collecting coherent information about the current situation, reasoning about constraints and policies, and dealing with uncertainty to achieve timely decision making. In order to help the users to cope with cognitive overload in such an environment, proactive agents can offer context-sensitive assistance by: anticipating the users’ needs; autonomously planning assistive actions; and offering assistance in an appropriate format at a right time. People have limitations in the amount of information that can be meaningfully processed at the same time; consequently, the agent must make sure that the amount of help provided is compatible with the user’s ability to cope with it.
Creating effective proactive agent assistants requires integrating various technologies, such as plan and goal recognition, information gathering, cognitive modeling, planning and scheduling among others. This symposium intends to be a forum to gather researchers from diverse fields to facilitate a wide-ranging discussion of unique technical challenges arising from integrating and advancing the state of the art technologies in agent-based assistive technologies. These discussions have the aim not only of advancing the state of the art of proactive assistants, but also informing research on the areas being integrated with the results of their integration into reactive assistants.

Symposium Format

The symposium will consist of a mixture of presentations and discussions. After all authors finish their presentations, the attendants will be encouraged to join smaller groups and engage in the discussion of specific topics motivated by the presented papers. As a consequence, authors of accepted papers are expected to give a short 10-minute presentation, with no time allocated for questions, as they are expected to ensue in smaller groups afterwards. After the symposium we intend to explore the possibility of a more formal publication venue.