Why Bad Coffee? Explaining Agent Plans with Valuings

  • Michael WinikoffEmail author
  • Virginia Dignum
  • Frank Dignum
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11094)


An important issue in deploying an autonomous system is how to enable human users and stakeholders to develop an appropriate level of trust in the system. It has been argued that a crucial mechanism to enable appropriate trust is the ability of a system to explain its behaviour. Obviously, such explanations need to be comprehensible to humans. We argue that it makes sense to build on the results of extensive research in social sciences that explores how humans explain their behaviour. Using similar concepts for explanation is argued to help with comprehensibility, since the concepts are familiar. Following work in the social sciences, we propose the use of a folk-psychological model that utilises beliefs, desires, and “valuings”. We propose a formal framework for constructing explanations of the behaviour of an autonomous system, present an (implemented) algorithm for giving explanations, and present evaluation results.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Winikoff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Virginia Dignum
    • 2
  • Frank Dignum
    • 3
  1. 1.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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