Evaluating new options in the context of existing plans

Abstract
This paper contributes to the foundations of a theory of rational choice for artificial agents in dynamic environments. Our work is developed within a theoretical framework, originally due to Bratman, that models resource-bounded agents as operating against the background of some current set of intentions, which helps to frame their subsequent reasoning. In contrast to the standard theory of rational choice, where options are evaluated in isolation, we therefore provide an analysis of situations in which the options presented to an agent are evaluated against a background context provided by the agent’s current plans—commitments to future activities, which may themselves be only partially specified. The interactions between the new options and the background context can complicate the task of evaluating the option, rendering it either more or less desirable in context than it would have been in isolation.  2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Michael McDermott (2008). Are Plans Necessary? Philosophical Studies 138 (2):225 - 232.
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