A multi-scale framework of intents is described for purposeful agents as a tool to explore the dynamics of cooperation, collaboration, conflict and competition between humans, both as individuals and as groups. The framework spans multiple timescales over which intentions persist - from the most transient (the next action to be taken) to the most enduring (deeply held values to be upheld), with several implicit scales in between. It is argued that each agent’s behaviour in a particular situation is shaped by its own intent framework and by certain aspects of its conceptual model of the situation (including itself). This model suggests a systematic approach to identifying the scope for cooperative behaviours between two or more agents, and moreover where and how the domain of cooperation could be enlarged, with applications to improving cooperation and reducing conflict in human groups.
KeywordsMultiscale intent Cooperation Intentional agents Human conflict
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