Towards Collaborative Plan Acquisition through Theory of Mind Modeling in Situated Dialogue


Collaborative tasks often begin with partial task knowledge and incomplete initial plans from each partner. To complete these tasks, agents need to engage in situated communication with their partners and coordinate their partial plans towards a complete plan to achieve a joint task goal. While such collaboration seems effortless in a human-human team, it is highly challenging for human-AI collaboration. To address this limitation, this paper takes a step towards collaborative plan acquisition, where humans and agents strive to learn and communicate with each other to acquire a complete plan for joint tasks. Specifically, we formulate a novel problem for agents to predict the missing task knowledge for themselves and for their partners based on rich perceptual and dialogue history. We extend a situated dialogue benchmark for symmetric collaborative tasks in a 3D blocks world and investigate computational strategies for plan acquisition. Our empirical results suggest that predicting the partner’s missing knowledge is a more viable approach than predicting one’s own. We show that explicit modeling of the partner’s dialogue moves and mental states produces improved and more stable results than without. These results provide insight for future AI agents that can predict what knowledge their partner is missing and, therefore, can proactively communicate such information to help their partner acquire such missing knowledge toward a common understanding of joint tasks.