The Social Meaning of Physical Action

  • Frank Dignum
  • Virginia Dignum
  • Catholijn M. Jonker
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8154)


Intelligent systems should be able to initiate and understand social interactions, which are always brought about by physical actions. Thus, all physical actions need to be interpreted for their social effects. This paper gives an analytical framework that identifies the main challenges in modelling social interactions. Such interpretation is subjective and might lead to misunderstandings between participants in the interaction. In real life, people use rituals, such as greetings, as a method for common grounding. Greeting as an essential prerequisite of joint activity is taken as case study to illustrate our approach.


Physical Action Social Interaction Common Ground Social Reality Social Goal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bentahar, J., Colombetti, M., Dignum, F., Fornara, N., Jones, A., Singh, M., Chopra, A., Artikis, A., Yolum, P.: Research directions in agent communication. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology 4(2), 1–27 (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Argyle, M.: Social Interaction. Transaction Publishers Rutgers (2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clark, H.: Using Language. Cambridge University Press (1996)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Condon, W.S., Ogston, W.D.: Sound film analysis of normal and pathological behavior patterns. J. Nervous Mental Disorders 143, 338–347 (1966)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lesser, V., Decker, K.: Generalizing the partial global planning algorithm. International Journal of Intelligent Cooperative Information Systems 1(2), 319–346 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Durkheim, E.: The Rules of Sociological Method, 8th edn.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grosz, B.J., Kraus, S.: Collaborative plans for complex group action. Artificial Intelligence 86(2), 269–357 (1996)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jennings, N.R.: Controlling cooperative problem solving in industrial multi-agent systems using joint intentions. Artificial Intelligence 75(2), 195–240 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kendon, A.: Movement coordination in social interaction: some examples described. Acta Psychologica 32, 101–125 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Decker, K., Wagner, T., Carver, N., Garvey, A., Horling, B., Neiman, D., Podorozhny, R., Nagendra Prasad, M., Raja, A., Vincent, R., Xuan, P., Lesser, V., Zhang, X.Q.: Evolution of the GPGP/TAEMS Domain-Independent Coordination Framework. International Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 9(1), 87–143 (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cohen, P.R., Levesque, H.J., Nunes, J.H.T.: On acting together. In: Proceedings of the Eighth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 1990), pp. 94–99 (1990)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pynadath, D., Marsella, S.: Psychsim: Modeling theory of mind with decision-theoretic agents. In: Proc. of the Internat. Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 1181–1186 (2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rummel, R.J.: Understanding conflict and war, vol. 2. Sage Publications (1976)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Searle, J.R.: The Construction of Social Reality. Penguin (1996)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Thompson, L., Fine, G.A.: Socially shared cognition, affect and behavior: A review and integration. Personality and Social Psychology Review 3, 278–302 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Turner, J.H.: A theory of social interaction. Stanford University Press (1988)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Vilhjálmsson, H.H., Kopp, S., Marsella, S., Thórisson, K.R. (eds.): IVA 2011. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 6895. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Dignum
    • 1
  • Virginia Dignum
    • 2
  • Catholijn M. Jonker
    • 2
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Delft University of TechnologyThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations