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Improving Military Common Ground Interactions with Computational Model Alignment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA865022P6412
Agency Tracking Number: F21B-T002-0055
Amount: $156,360.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF21B-T002
Solicitation Number: 21.B
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-12-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-01
Small Business Information
3600 Green Court Suite 600
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-1111
United States
DUNS: 009485124
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jeremiah Folsom-Kovarik
 (407) 602-6116
Business Contact
 Christian Thomas
Phone: (321) 355-0231
Research Institution
 IQM Research Institute
 James Miles
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-9484
United States

 (734) 635-1116
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Human teams quickly communicate by referencing common ground, beliefs that team members share and know they share, to shortcut explicit statements and provide timely information. Partners can monitor for evidence of understanding during communication and take the other’s perspective, interactively aligning mental models. However, deployed human-machine teaming (HMT) agents do not use common ground flexibly to accommodate evolving team missions. Agents do not have a rich model of their partner’s beliefs, do not fully use evidence of understanding to clarify what is in the common ground, and do not fluently align or change their computational model (knowledge representation, processing, and language usage). We will research computational model alignment with human dialogue partners using research perspectives like theory of mind and interactive alignment. We will document human maintenance of common ground, survey technology mechanisms (models and algorithms) that support human-like common ground and demonstrate a Phase I proof-of-concept capability. The research will advance the science of interactive alignment between agents and humans and will design a detailed, feasible path forward to a Phase II prototype agent based on computational cognitive architecture. The research will let HMT agents communicate more efficiently through common ground in a collaborative setting.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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