Faculty Profile: William Kennedy

William Kennedy

William Kennedy

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Social Complexity


Primary Research: Computational cognitive modeling and computational social science

Office: 371 Research Hall, MS 6B2
Phone: 703-993-9291
Primary Website: http://www.mllab.com/

Current Research Interests

Developing plausible cognition for models of households in large-scale, computational social science project: modeling human social cognition and decision-making concerning migration and civil unrest based on economic, political, and social influences. This agent-based model (ABM) is implemented in the MASON multi-agent simulation system for the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. It features a data-driven environment and the application of a statistically and theoretically driven, “fast and frugal” decision making by thousands to millions of agents.

Developing and testing a theories of human trust:

  • One project involved replicating sequential human trust and reciprocation behavior. Always trusting and reciprocating matched a large majority of the data. Implementing a “tit-for-Tat” strategy, matched even more. However, neither of these models of human behavior explain why some people sometimes behaved differently. The research continues.
  • Another project focuses on trust in an advisor with the advisors ranging from other humans to obviously automated systems. The approach is to implement a theory as a computational cognitive model and give it the same stimuli use in the human study to see if we can replicate the individuals’ behaviors. This work supports the Air Force Research Laboratory and George Mason University’s CENTEC, (Center of Excellence in Neuroergonomics, Technology, and Cognition).

Improving the cognitive plausibility of computational social simulations: Currently developing evidence that humans are not random in their choices. The intent is to describe their actual behavior when given a finite set of options and no criteria with which to make a selection.

Studying intuitive pattern learning: In a collaborative effort with AFRL, developed a successful cognitive model of intuitive pattern learning. A paper describing results was presented at International Conference on Cognitive Modeling in 2012. The new work is to analyze the differences in the errors made by humans and the model. The expectation is that either the errors are similar, supporting the claim that the model represents human cognition well. The alternative, that they are different, would also tell us something useful about humans, the model, or both

Previous Research Projects

Enhancing the cognitive plausibility of computational social science: Completed leading a 5-year, multi-disciplinary team developing agent-based models (ABM) of societal conflict, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief in East Africa. Developed cognitively plausible models of household decision-making for herders and farmers based on a rule-based cognitive architecture. This Mason-Yale MURI (Multidiscipline University Research Initiative) was sponsored by ONR and has produced many publications and presentations as the lead author.

Development of a model of the dual-process theory of cognition: Using this theory to address the fast unconscious stimulus-response processes as well as the slow reasoned decision-making. This work started in collaboration with the Naval Research Laboratory and has resulted in:

  • an organized symposium at the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (2012 Berlin),
  • a paper at the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2010 Philadelphia), and
  • a poster the CogSci 2010 conference on Theory of Mind.

Cognitive Robotics: This research developed a computational theory of teamwork; added the ability of a robot to simulate and have a TOM for its teammates; and maintained a situational awareness of a robot’s teammates including a SMM that supported what the robot expects a teammate would do in a situation based on what the robot itself would do under those circumstances. TeamBot had these capabilities. This work resulted in a conference paper and invited poster at AAAI 2008 and, with additional modeling of a chimpanzee’s Theory of Mind, a journal article on simulation as a basic tool for social robotics. Later work resulted in a 2011 journal article on the reality and perception of the length of a human’s “moment” implemented on an assistive robot.

Cognitively Plausible Spatial Reasoning. The goal of this research was to develop a computational model of spatial reasoning that is cognitively-plausible. We added to the robot’s architecture a layer between ACT-R and the robot that provided symbolic spatial reasoning including: a 2D, cognitive map; tracking of a target’s movement; and projection of target’s future motion. We integrated this spatial representation and reasoning with multi-modal HRI (speech and gesture) on StealthBot, a robot that covertly approached a moving target while working with a teammate. The paper and invited poster were presented at AAAI 2007.

Exploring the Nature of Long-Term, Symbolic Learning. The basic research project studied the nature and characteristics of long-term, symbolic learning and created a computational cognitive theory of long-term symbolic learning that does not suffer from the Utility Problem common to AI systems. The publications from this work include a cognitive modeling conference paper and journal article on the topic.

Research Sponsored By:

  • Center for Social Complexity (CSC), Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, GMU;
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR);
  • Center of Excellence in Neuroergonomics, Technology, and Cognition (CENTEC), GMU;
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL);
  • Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO);
  • National Science Foundation (CO-Pi) (NSF);
  • Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); and the
  • National Academy of Science/National Research Council (NRC).

Teaching Interests

Although I am “research” faculty and therefore not expected to teach, I have taught graduate students in Computational Social Science, Psychology, and Computer Science:

  • Spring 2015: Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (CSS-635/PSYC-768)
  • Spring 2014: Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (CSS-635/PSYC-768)
  • Spring 2013: Computational Cognitive Modeling (PSYC-768/CSS-635)
  • Spring 2012: Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (CSS-635/PSYC-768)
  • Spring 2011: Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (CSS-635/PSYC-768)
  • Spring 2010: Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (CSS-635/PSYC-768)
  • Spring 2009: Computational Cognitive Modeling (PSYC-768/CSS-635)

Dr. William Kennedy’s full curriculum vitae can be found here.

These publications include recent research and academic publications. Peer reviewed abstracts, talks, and additional government and government-related publications are included in the full CV.

Edited Books

  1. Kennedy, W.G., Argawal, N. and Yang, S.J. (Eds.) (2014) Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction: 6th International Conference, SPB 2014, Washington, DC, April 1-4, 2014, Proceedings. LNCS 8393. Springer-Verlag: Berlin.
  2. Greenberg, A.M., Kennedy, W.G., and Bos, N.D. (Eds.) (2013) Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction: 6th International Conference, SPB 2013, Washington, DC, April 2-5, 2013, Proceedings. LNCS 7812. Springer-Verlag: Berlin. (link)

Book Chapters

  1. Kennedy, W.G., Cotla, C.R., Gulden, T., Coletti, M, and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2014) Towards Validating a Model of Households and Societies of East Africa. Advances in Computational Social Science: The Fourth World Congress, Chapter 20, pp 315-328, S.H. Chen, I. Terano, H. Yamamoto, C.C. Tai (Eds.) Springer.
  2. Kennedy, W.G. (2012) Long-Term Learning in Soar. In Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Norbert M. Seel (Ed.) 1st Edition 2012. ISBN 978-1-4419-1427-9. Springer. (pdf)
  3. Kennedy, W.G. (2011) Modelling Human Behavior in Agent-Based Models. Chapter in M. Batty, A. Heppenstall, and A. Crooks (Eds.) Current Geographical Theories for Agent-Based Modelling. Springer. (pdf)

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. Skoggard, I. and Kennedy, W.G. (2013) An Interdisciplinary Approach to Agent-Based Modeling of Conflict in Eastern Africa. Practicing Anthropology 35(1), pp 29-33. (pdf)
  2. Andrei, A. and Kennedy, W.G. (2013) Agent-Based Models and Ethnography: Combining Qualitative and Computational Techniques with Complexity Theory. Practicing Anthropology 35(1), pp 14-18. (pdf)
  3. Kennedy, W.G., Ritter, F. E., Best, B. E. (2011). Behavioral representation in modeling and simulation: Introduction to CMOT special issue-BRiMS 2010. Journal of Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 17(3), pp 225-228. Springer. (pdf)
  4. Kennedy, W.G., & Trafton, J., G. (2011). How long is a moment? The perception and reality of task-related absences. International Journal of Social Robotics 3(3), pp 243-252. Springer. (pdf)
  5. Kennedy, W.G., Ritter, F. E., Best, B. E. (2010). Behavioral representation in modeling and simulation: Introduction to CMOT special issue on BRiMS 2009. Journal of Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 16(3), pp 217-219. Springer. (pdf)
  6. Kennedy, W.G., Bugajska, M.D., Harrison, A.M., & Trafton, J.G. (2009). “Like-Me” Simulation as an Effective and Cognitively Plausible Basis for Social Robotics. International Journal of Social Robotics 1, pp 181-194. Springer. (pdf)
  7. Kennedy, W.G., & Trafton, J.G. (2007). Long-Term Symbolic Learning. Cognitive Systems Research 8(3), pp 237-247. Elsevier. (pdf)

Dissertation

  1. Kennedy, W.G. (2002) Long-Term Learning in Soar and its Application to the Utility Problem, Doctoral Dissertation, School of Information Technology and Engineering, George Mason University.

Refereed Conference Papers

  1. Kennedy, W.G. and Harrison, J.F. (2013) Towards Representing Disasters in Computational Social Simulations. Computational Social Science Society of the Americas annual meeting. Santa Fe. (22-25 Aug 2013) (pdf)
  2. Kennedy, W.G., and Krueger, F. (2013) Towards Modeling Trust Behavior. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2013). Ottawa. (11-14 July 2013) (pdf)
  3. Kennedy, W.G., and Krueger, F. (2013) Building a Cognitive Model of Trust Within ACT-R. Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium 2013. Stanford, CA. (25-27 March 2013) (pdf)
  4. Kennedy, W.G., Cotla, C.R., Gulden, T., Coletti, M, and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2012) Towards Validating a Model of Households and Societies of East Africa. Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on Social Simulation (WCSS2012) pp 1-6. Taipei. (4-7 September 2012) (pdf)
  5. Kennedy, W.G., Cotla, C.R., Gulden, T., Coletti, M, and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2012) Validation of a Household Model of the Societies of East Africa. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics and 2nd International Conference on Cross-Cultural Decision Making (HSCB) pp 6612-6621. San Francisco. (21-25 July 2012) (pdf)
  6. Kennedy, W.G. & Patterson, R.E. (2012) Modeling Intuitive Decision Making in ACT-R. In N. RuBwinkel, U. Drewitz, & H. van Rijn (Eds.) Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2012), pp 1-6. Berlin. (12-15 April 2012) (pdf)
  7. Kennedy, W.G., Ritter, F.E, Lebiere, C., Juvina, I., Oltramari, A., Gratch, J. and Young, R.M. (2012) ICCM Symposium on Cognitive Modeling of Processes “Beyond Rational”. In N. RuBwinkel, U. Drewitz, & H. van Rijn (Eds.) Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2012), pp 55-58. Berlin. (12-15 April 2012) (pdf)
  8. Kennedy, W.G. (2011) The Roots of Trust: Cognition Beyond Rational. In A.V. Samsonovich & K.R. Johannsodottir (Eds.) Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures 2011, pp 188-193. IOS Press. (pdf)
  9. Kennedy, W.G. & Bassett, J.K., (2011) Implementing a “Fast and Frugal” Cognitive Model within a Computational Social Simulation. Second Annual Meeting of the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas, Sante Fe, NM. (9-12 Oct. 2011) (pdf)
  10. Rouly, O.C., & Kennedy, W.G., (2011) Sexually differentiated philopatry and dispersal: A demonstration of the Baldwin effect and genetic drift. Second Annual Meeting of the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas, Sante Fe, NM. (9-12 Oct. 2011)
  11. Tsvetovat, M., Guerrero, O., & Kennedy, W.G., (2011) Evolving Social Structure: From Neurons to Networks with Agent-Based Models. Second Annual Meeting of the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas, Sante Fe, NM. (9-12 Oct. 2011)
  12. Kennedy, W.G. (2010) Towards Understanding Trust Through Computational Cognitive Modeling. In A.V. Samsonovich, K.R. Johannsdottir, A. Chella, & B. Goertzel (Eds.) Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures 2010, pg 78. IOS Press. (pdf)
  13. Kennedy, W.G., Hailegiorgis, A.B., Rouleau, M., Bassett, J.K., Coletti, M., Balan, G.C., Gulden, T., and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2010) MASON HerderLand: Modeling the Origins of Conflict in East Africa. Proceedings of the First Annual Conference of the Computational Social Science Society, Tempe, AZ, (5-6 November 2010). (pdf)
  14. Kennedy, W.G., & Bugajska, M. (2010). Integrating Fast and Slow Cognitive Processes. In D.D. Salvucci & G. Gunzelmann (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2010), pp 121-126. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. (4-8 August 2010) (pdf)
  15. Kennedy, W.G., Gulden, T., Hailegiorgis, A.B., Bassett, J.K., Coletti, M., Balan, G.C., Clark, M, & Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2010) An Agent-Based Model of Conflict in East Africa and the Effect of the Privatization of Land. Third World Congress on Social Simulation, Kassel, Germany. (6-9 September 2010) (pdf)
  16. Hailegiorgis, A.B., Kennedy, W.G., Balan, G.C., Bassett, J.K., & Gulden, T. (2010) An Agent Based Model of Climate Change and Conflict among Pastoralists in East Africa. Proceedings of the International Congress on Environmental Modeling and Software (IEMSS2010). Ottawa, Ontario, CN. (5-8 July 2010) (pdf)
  17. Kennedy, W.G., Hailegiorgis, A.B., Basset, J.K., Coletti, M., Balan, G.C., Rouleau, M., & Gulden, T. (2010) An Agent-Based Model of Conflict in East Africa and the Effects of Watering Holes. Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation Conference 2010 (BRiMS), pp 274-281. Charleston, SC. (22-26 Mar. 2010) (pdf)
  18. Rouleau, M., Coletti, M., Basset, J.K., Hailegiorgis, A.B., Gulden, T., & Kennedy, W.G. (2009). Conflict and Complex Socio-Natural Systems: Using Agent-Based Modeling to Understand the Behavioral Roots of Social Unrest within the Mandera Triangle. In Proceedings of the Human Behavior-Computational modeling and Interoperability Conference. Oak Ridge, TN. (23-24 June 2009) (pdf)
  19. Kennedy, W.G., Rouleau, M., & Bassett, J.K, (2009) Multiple Levels of Cognitive Modeling within Agent-Based Modeling. Proceedings of the Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation Conference 2009 (BRiMS), pp 143-144. Sundance, UT. (30 Mar.-2 Apr. 2009) (pdf)
  20. Kennedy, W.G., Bugajska, M., Adams, W., Schultz, A.C., & Trafton, J.G. (2008). Incorporating Simulation for a More Effective Robotic Teammate. Paper and poster presented. In the Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, pp 1300-1305. Washington, DC. (13-17 July 2008): AAAI Press. (pdf)
  21. Kennedy, W.G., Bugajska, M.D., Marge, M., Fransen, B.R., Adams, W., Perzanowski, D., Schultz, A.C., & Trafton, J.G. (2007). Spatial Representation and Reasoning for Human-Robot Collaboration. In Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, pp 1554-1559. Vancouver, BC. (22-27 July 2007): AAAI Press. (pdf)
  22. Kennedy, W.G. & Trafton, J.G. (2006) Long-term Learning in Soar and ACT-R, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Cognitive Modeling, pp 162-168. Trieste, Italy. (pdf)
  23. Kennedy, W.G. (2005) Different Levels of Performance Measures for Different Uses (The “PPP Proposal”), presentation at Evaluation 2005: Crossing Boarders, Crossing Boundaries, Joint Canadian Evaluation Society/American Evaluation Association Conference, Toronto, Canada. (26-29 Oct. 2005)
  24. Kennedy, W.G. & De Jong, K.A. (2003) Characteristics of Long-Term Learning in Soar and its Application to the Utility Problem, Proceedings of the Twentieth International Conference on Machine Learning, pp 337-344. Washington, DC.
  25. Kennedy, W.G. (1989) Lessons Learned in Process Control at the Halden Reactor Project, Technical Report NUREG-1361, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  26. Kennedy, W.G. (1988) Use of Digital Computers in Control Rooms of OECD Member Countries, CSNI Report 150, July 1988. Report of survey presented and officially accepted at the Paris OECD meeting, September 1987. The report was also presented at an international meeting on Man-Machine Interface in the Nuclear Industry, Tokyo, Japan, February 1989 and Munich, Germany, 1990.
  27. Kennedy, W.G. & Lanning, W.D. (1987) Feedback of Human Factors Contributions to Significant Events. Paper presented at the IAEA Specialists Meeting on “The Human Factor Information Feedback in Nuclear Power: Implications of Operating Experience on System Analysis, Design and Operation,” Roskilde, Demark. (25 May 1987)

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