Nav: Home

Achieving optimal collaboration when goals conflict

December 12, 2019

New research suggests that, when two people must work together on a physical task despite conflicting goals, the amount of information available about each other's actions influences how quickly and optimally they learn to collaborate. Vinil Chackochan and Vittorio Sanguineti of the University of Genoa, Italy, present these findings in PLOS Computational Biology.

Most previous research into humans' ability to coordinate actions with others has addressed situations in which two people share a common goal, such as transporting a load or operating a tool. Much more often, people's goals conflict, and they must figure out how to collaborate. However, few studies have explored such situations.

For the new study, Chackochan and Sanguineti designed an experimental task in which two participants are assigned to perform different, competing sets of movements using the same mechanical apparatus at the same time. They also used Bayesian statistics and differential game theory to design a computational model that simulates similar partner situations.

Analysis of the experimental results and simulations revealed that, when one has more information about how a partner reacts to one's actions, collaboration is achieved more quickly, and one tends to develop optimal interaction strategies similar to those predicted by game theory. In contrast, with less information about one's partner, a person develops strategies that minimize the need for that information.

The findings provide new insights on the minimal computational machinery needed for stable physical collaboration. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie these kinds of human-human interactions could aid development of robots that can interact with people in a more natural, human-like fashion.

"Game theory has had a huge impact in many fields, including economics, political science, linguistics, operations research, and more," Chackochan says. "Application of game theory in human joint action may have far-reaching potential, especially in the area of human-robot interaction."

Next, the researchers plan to explore how people achieve and represent knowledge about a partner's ongoing actions and goals. They also aim to work towards development of a bio-inspired virtual agent with built-in collaborative capabilities.
Peer-reviewed; Experimental study; People

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Computational Biology:

Citation: Chackochan VT, Sanguineti V (2019) Incomplete information about the partner affects the development of collaborative strategies in joint action. PLoS Comput Biol 15(12): e1006385.

Funding: The work is partly supported by a grant (ModuLimb) from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) - Research Projects of National Interest (PRIN). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Related Game Theory Articles:

Is video game addiction real?
A recent six-year study, the longest study ever done on video game addiction, found that about 90% of gamers do not play in a way that is harmful or causes negative long-term consequences.
Game theory suggests more efficient cancer therapy
Cornell mathematicians are using game theory to model how this competition could be leveraged, so cancer treatment -- which also takes a toll on the patient's body -- might be administered more sparingly, with maximized effect.
Kids eat more calories in post-game snacks than they burn during the game
A new study led by Brigham Young University public health researchers finds the number of calories kids consume from post-game snacks far exceeds the number of calories they actually burn playing in the game.
Can exercise improve video game performance?
Time spent playing video games is often seen as time stolen from physical activities.
APS tip sheet: Dark matter's galactic emissions and game theory of vaccination
The APS Tip Sheet highlights noteworthy research recently published in the Physical Review Journals.
Get your game face on: Study finds it may help
Could putting on a serious face in preparation for competition actually impact performance?
Researchers use game theory to successfully identify bacterial antibiotic resistance
Washington State University researchers have developed a novel way to identify previously unrecognized antibiotic-resistance genes in bacteria.
How random tweaks in timing can lead to new game theory strategies
Most game theory models don't reflect the relentlessly random timing of the real world.
Army game-theory research better allocates military resources, fight cancer
US Army game-theory research using artificial intelligence may help treat cancer and other diseases, improve cybersecurity, deploy Soldiers and assets more efficiently and even win a poker game.
Game theory highlights power of local reporting in vaccine decisions
Computational modeling of social networks suggests that vaccination programs are more successful in containing disease when individuals have access to local information about disease prevalence.
More Game Theory News and Game Theory Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.