A new look at situational awareness:
The essential ingredients for modeling perceiving and acting by animate and robot agents

Organizers: Robert E. Shaw, William Mace, & Paul Treffner


We take it that to understand animals perceiving and acting in the world, or to model perceiving and acting in the world, whether in ecological science, cognitive science, neuroscience, or robotics, one must analyze goal directed tasks.

We propose a minimal list of potential sources of variability present in any task. All modeling strategies should address them if they are to have a handle on all the relevant sources of degrees of freedom. An explicit characterization of the "situational awareness" by agents should be of specific interest to those who would reduce the "loans" taken out on extrinsic factors. The three "packages" of variables suggests one way to make intrinsic many factors that govern the success or failure of a goal-directed task that might otherwise be left extrinsic and unaccounted for.

Following numerous papers by Shaw and various students and colleagues, we propose these 3 sets of concepts. On one hand, considering all of these surely can be quite daunting, but it is important to note that we do not believe that this list is a beginning that will grow indefinitely. When elaborated, this set has the property of closure, which we take to be not only desirable, but necessary.

1. Four types of information and control for an agent -- exterospecific, propriospecific, expropriospecific, and proexterospecific forms of information.

2. Four modes of action - Exploratory, preparatory, performatory, consummatory

3. Global and local control in environment



The workshop participants have made their papers available for you to download prior to the conference and so facilitate discussion and debate at the workshop proper.

1. Challenges and promises of an ecological approach to robotics (Shaw & Mace)
Download paper here

2. Toward smart cars with computer vision for integrated driver and road scene
monitoring (Zelinsky)

Download paper here

3. Exploring ecological principles in robot soccer (Thornton)