Google Research

Experiential Preference Elicitation for Autonomous Heating and Cooling Systems

Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-19), Montreal (2019), pp. 431-439

Abstract

AI systems that act on behalf of users require knowledge of user preferences, which can be acquired by preference elicitation. In many settings, users can respond more easily and accurately to preference queries reflecting their current, or recently experienced, context (e.g., state of the environment), than to those reflecting contexts further removed. We develop and study a formal model of experiential elicitation (EE) in which query costs and response noise are state-dependent. EE settings tightly couple the problems of control and elicitation. We provide some analysis of this abstract model, and illustrate its applicability in household heating/cooling management. We propose the use of relative value queries, asking the user to compare the immediate utility of two states, whose difficulty is related to the degree and recency of a user’s experience with those states. We develop a Gaussian process-based approach for modeling user preferences in dynamic EE domains and show that it accrues higher reward than several natural baselines.

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