Designing Sociable Technologies

par Remi Barraquand

Thèse de doctorat en Mathématiques

Sous la direction de James L Crowley et de Patrick Reignier.

Soutenue le 02-02-2012

à Grenoble, dans le cadre de MATHEMATIQUES, SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES DE L'INFORMATION, INFORMATIQUE (217), en partenariat avec Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble (laboratoire) .

Le président du jury était Gaëlle Calvary.

Le jury était composé de James L Crowley, Patrick Reignier, Olivier Sigaud.

Les rapporteurs étaient Pascal Salembier, Fabio Pianesi.

  • Titre traduit

    Design de technologies sociables


  • Résumé

    This thesis investigates the design of sociable technologies and is divided into three main parts described below. In the first part, we introduce sociable technologies. We review our the definition of technology and propose categories of technologies according to the motivation underlying their design: improvement of control, improvement of communication or improvement of cooperation. Sociable technologies are then presented as an extension of techniques to improve cooperation. The design of sociable technologies are then discussed leading to the observation that acquisition of social common sense is a key challenge for designing sociable technologies. Finally, polite technologies are presented as an approach for acquiring social common sense. In the second part, we focus on the premises for the design of sociable technologies. A key aspect of social common sense is the ability to act appropriately in social situations. Associating appropriate behaviour with social situations is presented as a key method for implementing polite technologies. Reinforcement learning is proposed as a method for learning such associations and variation of this algorithm are experimentally evaluated. Learning the association between situation and behaviour relies on the strong assumption that mutual understanding of social situations can be achieved between technologies and people during interaction. We argue that in order to design sociable technologies, we must change the model of communication used by our technologies. We propose to replace the well-known code model of communication, with the ostensive-inferential model proposed by Sperber and Wilson. Hypotheses raised by this approach are evaluated in an experiment conducted in a smart environment, where, subjects by group of two or three are asked to collaborate with a smart environment in order to teach it how to behave in an automated meeting. A novel experimental methodology is presented: The Sorceress of Oz. The results collected from this experiment validate our hypothesis and provide insightful information for the design. We conclude by presenting, what we believe are, the premises for the design of sociable technologies. The final part of the thesis concerns an infrastructure for the design of sociable technologies. This infrastructure provides the support for three fundamental components. First, it provides the support for an inferential model of context. This inferential model of context is presented; a software architecture is proposed and evaluated in an experiment conducted in a smart-environment. Second, it provides the support for reasoning by analogy and introduces the concept of eigensituations. The advantage of this representation are discussed and evaluated in an experiment. Finally, it provides the support for ostensive-inferential communication and introduces the concept of ostensive interface.


  • Résumé

    This thesis investigates the design of sociable technologies and is divided into three main parts described below. In the first part, we introduce sociable technologies. We review our the definition of technology and propose categories of technologies according to the motivation underlying their design: improvement of control, improvement of communication or improvement of cooperation. Sociable technologies are then presented as an extension of techniques to improve cooperation. The design of sociable technologies are then discussed leading to the observation that acquisition of social common sense is a key challenge for designing sociable technologies. Finally, polite technologies are presented as an approach for acquiring social common sense. In the second part, we focus on the premises for the design of sociable technologies. A key aspect of social common sense is the ability to act appropriately in social situations. Associating appropriate behaviour with social situations is presented as a key method for implementing polite technologies. Reinforcement learning is proposed as a method for learning such associations and variation of this algorithm are experimentally evaluated. Learning the association between situation and behaviour relies on the strong assumption that mutual understanding of social situations can be achieved between technologies and people during interaction. We argue that in order to design sociable technologies, we must change the model of communication used by our technologies. We propose to replace the well-known code model of communication, with the ostensive-inferential model proposed by Sperber and Wilson. Hypotheses raised by this approach are evaluated in an experiment conducted in a smart environment, where, subjects by group of two or three are asked to collaborate with a smart environment in order to teach it how to behave in an automated meeting. A novel experimental methodology is presented: The Sorceress of Oz. The results collected from this experiment validate our hypothesis and provide insightful information for the design. We conclude by presenting, what we believe are, the premises for the design of sociable technologies. The final part of the thesis concerns an infrastructure for the design of sociable technologies. This infrastructure provides the support for three fundamental components. First, it provides the support for an inferential model of context. This inferential model of context is presented; a software architecture is proposed and evaluated in an experiment conducted in a smart-environment. Second, it provides the support for reasoning by analogy and introduces the concept of eigensituations. The advantage of this representation are discussed and evaluated in an experiment. Finally, it provides the support for ostensive-inferential communication and introduces the concept of ostensive interface.

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