Incorporating Rich Social Interactions Into MDPs

TitleIncorporating Rich Social Interactions Into MDPs
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsTejwani, R, Kuo, Y-L, Shu, T, Stankovits, B, Gutfreund, D, Tenenbaum, JB, Katz, B, Barbu, A
Conference Name2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
Date Published05/2022
Conference LocationPhiladelphia, PA, USA

Much of what we do as humans is engage socially with other agents, a skill that robots must also eventually possess. We demonstrate that a rich theory of social interactions originating from microsociology can be formalized by extending a nested MDP where agents reason about arbitrary functions of each other's rewards. This extended Social MDP allows us to encode the five basic interactions that underlie microsociology: cooperation, conflict, coercion, competition, and exchange. The result is a robotic agent capable of executing social interactions in new environments with no interaction-specific training; like humans it can engage socially in novel ways even without a single example of that social interaction. Moreover, the estimations of these Social MDPs align closely with the judge-ments of humans when considering which social interaction is taking place in an environment. This method both sheds light on the nature of social interactions, by providing concrete mathematical definitions, and brings rich social interactions into a mathematical framework that has proven to be natural for robotics.


Associated Module: 

CBMM Relationship: 

  • CBMM Funded