Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Fifth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Fear and Hope Emerge from Anticipation in Model-Based Reinforcement Learning / 848
Thomas Moerland, Joost Broekens, Catholijn Jonker

Social agents and robots will require both learning and emotional capabilities to successfully enter society. This paper connects both challenges, by studying models of emotion generation in sequential decision-making agents. Previous work in this field has focused on model-free reinforcement learning (RL). However, important emotions like hope and fear need anticipation, which requires a model and forward simulation. Taking inspiration from the psychological Belief-Desire Theory of Emotions (BDTE), our work specifies models of hope and fear based on best and worst forward traces. To efficiently estimate these traces, we integrate a well-known Monte Carlo Tree Search procedure (UCT) into a model based RL architecture. Test results in three known RL domains illustrate emotion dynamics, dependencies on policy and environmental stochasticity, and plausibility in individual Pacman game settings. Our models enable agents to naturally elicit hope and fear during learning, and moreover, explain what anticipated event caused this.