SILENT AGENTS: From Observation to Tacit Communication

  • Cristiano Castelfranchi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4140)


Observation is the basis of a very crucial form of Communication without words or special protocols. Efficient coordination – in humans but also in artificial Agents – exploits or should exploit not just ‘observation’ but more precisely this form of silent communication: when Agent X relies on the fact that Agent Y is observing her in order to let Y understand that p, i.e. for communicating to Y that p. The general theory of behavioral implicit communication (BIC) is presented. Its importance in social interaction is discussed. We will illustrate why this is crucial for mutual understanding and for comitment and norms keeping, imitation and learning, etc. The message-sending paradigm dominating CSCW, MAS, HCI, and H-Robot-I, is criticized. The relationship with the ill-defined but important notion of stigmergy (very used in ALife Agents) is analyzed.


Social Order Artificial Agent ALife Agent Efficient Coordination Mutual Awareness 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristiano Castelfranchi
    • 1
  1. 1.ISTC-CNR & University of SienaItaly

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