Computational memory architectures for autobiographic agents interacting in a complex virtual environment : a working model
In this paper, we discuss the concept of autobiographic agent and how memory may extend an agent's temporal horizon and increase its adaptability. These concepts are applied to an implementation of a scenario where agents are interacting in a complex virtual artificial life environment. We present computational memory architectures for autobiographic virtual agents that enable agents to retrieve meaningful information from their dynamic memories which increases their adaptation and survival in the environment. The design of the memory architectures, the agents, and the virtual environment are described in detail. Next, a series of experimental studies and their results are presented which show the adaptive advantage of autobiographic memory, i.e. from remembering significant experiences. Also, in a multi-agent scenario where agents can communicate via stories based on their autobiographic memory, it is found that new adaptive behaviours can emerge from an individual's reinterpretation of experiences received from other agents whereby higher communication frequency yields better group performance. An interface is described that visualises the memory contents of an agent. From an observer perspective, the agents’ behaviours can be understood as individually structured, and temporally grounded, and, with the communication of experience, can be seen to rely on emergent mixed narrative reconstructions combining the experiences of several agents. This research leads to insights into how bottom-up story-telling and autobiographic reconstruction in autonomous, adaptive agents allow temporally grounded behaviour to emerge. The article concludes with a discussion of possible implications of this research direction for future autobiographic, narrative agents.