Towards Robots that Influence Humans over Long-Term Interaction

Shahabedin Sagheb, Ye Ji Mun, Neema Ahmadian, Benjamin A. Christie, Andrea Bajcsy, Katherine Driggs-Campbell, Dylan P. Losey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When humans interact with robots influence is inevitable. Consider an autonomous car driving near a human: the speed and steering of the autonomous car will affect how the human drives. Prior works have developed frameworks that enable robots to influence humans towards desired behaviors. But while these approaches are effective in the short-term (i.e., the first few human-robot interactions), here we explore long-term influence (i.e., repeated interactions between the same human and robot). Our central insight is that humans are dynamic: people adapt to robots, and behaviors which are influential now may fall short once the human learns to anticipate the robot's actions. With this insight, we experimentally demonstrate that a prevalent game-theoretic formalism for generating influential robot behaviors becomes less effective over repeated interactions. Next, we propose three modifications to Stackelberg games that make the robot's policy both influential and unpredictable. We finally test these modifications across simulations and user studies: our results suggest that robots which purposely make their actions harder to anticipate are better able to maintain influence over long-term interaction. See videos here:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - ICRA 2023
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9798350323658
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2023 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: May 29 2023Jun 2 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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