Higher-order theory of mind in negotiations under incomplete information

Harmen de Weerd, Rineke Verbrugge, Bart Verheij

Theory of mind refers to the ability to reason explicitly about unobservable mental content such as beliefs, desires, and intentions of others. People are known to make use of theory of mind, and even rea- son about what other people believe about their beliefs. Although it is unknown why such a higher-order theory of mind evolved in humans, exposure to mixed-motive situations may have facilitated its emergence. In such mixed-motive situations, interacting parties have partially over- lapping goals, so that both competition and cooperation play a role. In this paper, we consider negotiation using alternative others in a particular mixed-motive situation known as Colored Trails, and determine to what extent higher-order theory of mind is beneficial to computational agents. Our results show limited effectiveness of first-order theory of mind, while second-order theory of mind turns out to benefit agents greatly by al- lowing them to reason about the way they communicate their interests.

Manuscript (in PDF-format)

De Weerd, H., Verbrugge, R., & Verheij, B. (2013). Higher-Order Theory of Mind in Negotiations Under Incomplete Information. PRIMA 2013: Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems, Dunedin, New Zealand, December 2013. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 8291 (eds. Boella, G., Elkind, E., Savarimuthu, B.T.R., Dignum, F., & Purvis, M.K.), 101-116. Berlin: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-44927-7_8

Bart Verheij's home page - research - publications