Modeling the Behaviour and Estimating the Intent of a Rational Purposeful Agent


  1. Roy, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
In the context of threat analysis, the term intent often refers to the will or determination of an agent to inflict evil, injury, or damage. As intent is an intangible item that cannot be directly observed, it must rather be inferred from observations of other aspects. This requires a model of intent that is sufficiently precise and detailed, providing a fair understanding of the numerous factors that drive intent. As a first step towards deriving such a model, selected literature has been reviewed. Based on this work and on years of experience acquired through personal research efforts, the author proposes a model that provides insights into human behaviour. To establish this model, humans are first being considered as limited rational purposeful agents, i.e., as agents that perform intentional actions, making use of the reason, and taking into account constraints imposed by their limited resources. From there, the notion of intent is discussed from the military perspective on commander's intent, some viewpoints from the more "philosophical" literature, and finally from the notions of explicit and implicit intent. The causal link between intent and actions through the planning process is then discussed, describing how agents are going from some desires to actual actions in the environment, including the consequences or effects of these actions. Intent estimation and prediction are examined from the perspectives of different authors, in different domains of application, and s

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Intent;Intent Estimation;Intent Prediction;Threat Analysis;Situation Analysis;Behaviour Modeling;Behaviour Analysis
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TM-2008-381 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Oct 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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