Towards Social Situation Awareness in Support Agents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Artificial agents that support people in their daily activities (e.g., virtual coaches and personal assistants) are increasingly prevalent. Since many daily activities are social in nature, support agents should understand a user's social situation to offer comprehensive support. However, there are no systematic approaches for developing support agents that are social situation aware. We identify key requirements for a support agent to be social situation aware and propose steps to realize those requirements. These steps are presented through a conceptual architecture centered on two key ideas: (1) conceptualizing social situation awareness as an instantiation of Endsley's situation awareness, and (2) using situation taxonomies for such instantiation. This enables support agents to represent a user's social situation, comprehend its meaning, and assess its impact on the user's behavior. We discuss empirical results supporting the effectiveness of the proposed approach and illustrate how the architecture can be used in support agents through two use cases.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Intelligent Systems
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


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