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Neural Reasoning About Agents’ Goals, Preferences, and Actions

Matteo Bortoletto, Lei Shi, Andreas Bulling

Proc. 38th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), pp. 456–464, 2024.


We propose the Intuitive Reasoning Network (IRENE) – a novel neural model for intuitive psychological reasoning about agents’ goals, preferences, and actions that can generalise previous experiences to new situations. IRENE combines a graph neural network for learning agent and world state representations with a transformer to encode the task context. When evaluated on the challenging Baby Intuitions Benchmark, IRENE achieves new state-of-the-art performance on three out of its five tasks – with up to 48.9 % improvement. In contrast to existing methods, IRENE is able to bind preferences to specific agents, to better distinguish between rational and irrational agents, and to better understand the role of blocking obstacles. We also investigate, for the first time, the influence of the training tasks on test performance. Our analyses demonstrate the effectiveness of IRENE in combining prior knowledge gained during training for unseen evaluation tasks.



@inproceedings{bortoletto24_aaai, author = {Bortoletto, Matteo and Shi, Lei and Bulling, Andreas}, title = {Neural Reasoning About Agents’ Goals, Preferences, and Actions}, booktitle = {Proc. 38th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)}, year = {2024}, volume = {38}, number = {1}, pages = {456--464}, doi = {10.1609/aaai.v38i1.27800} }