Theory of finite goal-oriented communication

  • Brendan Juba


This chapter describes a formal theory of semantic communication in terms of “goals” for communication. In this chapter, we focus exclusively on finite goals, where an agent wishes to reach some desired state of being, in contrast to infinite goals where an agent wishes to maintain some desirable state over time, which we will introduce in Chapter 6. We will describe our model for communicating agents and state our main definitions; in particular, we will introduce the “basic universal setting” for finite goals, in which we aim to design an agent for a finite goal that achieves the goal of communication with a partner in polynomial time whenever some other polynomial time agent could communicate with that partner. We then prove some basic results about this model—in particular, theorems characterizing when universal communication is possible with a given class of partners.


Language Game User Strategy Probabilistic Strategy Server Strategy Coin Toss 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Applied SciencesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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