Toward anticipatory agents

Bertil Ekdahl, Eric Astor, Paul Davidsson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


    This paper presents a novel approach to the problem of designing autonomous agents that is based on the idea of anticipatory systems. An anticipatory system has a model of itself and of the relevant
    part of its environment and will use this model to predict the future. The predictions are then utilised to determine the agent’s behaviour, i.e. it lets future states affect its present states. We argue that systems based on causal reasoning only, are too limited to serve as a proper base for designing autonomous agents. An anticipatory agent, on the other hand, will use reasoning from final cause to guide its current actions. We then discuss towhat extent an anticipatory agent can be constructed from computable functions and we conclude that this problem is best expressed and analysed in linguistic terms. This discussion points out howsuch an agent should be designed and results in a proposal of an appropriate architecture. However, as the meta-linguistic problems involved are very hard to solve, a simpler architecture is also proposed. This is also a hybrid architecture that synthesizes reactive behaviour and deliberative reasoning, which, we believe, still has its merits compared to previous approaches to the design of autonomous agents. Finally, we discuss introspection and reflection, and show that the underlying concepts are easy to comprehend in the context of anticipatory systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntelligent agents : proceedings / ECAI-94, Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages
    ISBN (Print)354058855
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Computer Science


    • anticipatory systems
    • autonomous agents


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