Risk-aware Planning in BDI Agents

Ronan Killough, Kim Bauters, Kevin McAreavey, Weiru Liu, Jun Hong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

4 Citations (Scopus)
330 Downloads (Pure)


The ability of an autonomous agent to select rational actions is vital in enabling it to achieve its goals. To do so effectively in a high-stakes setting, the agent must be capable of considering the risk and potential reward of both immediate and future actions. In this paper we provide a novel method for calculating risk alongside utility in online planning algorithms. We integrate such a risk-aware planner with a BDI agent, allowing us to build agents that can set their risk aversion levels dynamically based on their changing beliefs about the environment. To guide the design of a risk-aware agent we propose a number of principles which such an agent should adhere to and show how our proposed framework satisfies these principles. Finally, we evaluate our approach and demonstrate that a dynamically risk-averse agent is capable of achieving a higher success rate than an agent that ignores risk, while obtaining a higher utility than an agent with a static risk attitude.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART'16)
Subtitle of host publicationFebruary 24-26, 2016, in Rome, Italy
EditorsJaap van den Herik, Joaquim Felipe
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789897581724
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016


  • Online planning
  • BDI agent
  • Risk awareness
  • Decision making


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