Sequential Languagebased Decisions
Abstract
In earlier work, we introduced the framework of languagebased decisions, the core idea of which was to modify Savage's classical decisiontheoretic framework by taking actions to be descriptions in some language, rather than functions from states to outcomes, as they are defined classically. Actions had the form "if psi then do(phi)", where psi and phi were formulas in some underlying language, specifying what effects would be brought about under what circumstances. The earlier work allowed only onestep actions. But, in practice, plans are typically composed of a sequence of steps. Here, we extend the earlier framework to sequential actions, making it much more broadly applicable. Our technical contribution is a representation theorem in the classical spirit: agents whose preferences over actions satisfy certain constraints can be modeled as if they are expected utility maximizers. As in the earlier work, due to the languagebased specification of the actions, the representation theorem requires a construction not only of the probability and utility functions representing the agent's beliefs and preferences, but also the state and outcomes spaces over which these are defined, as well as a "selection function" which intuitively captures how agents disambiguate coarse descriptions. The (unbounded) depth of action sequencing adds substantial interest (and complexity!) to the proof.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 July 2023
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.2307.07563
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2307.07563
 Bibcode:
 2023arXiv230707563B
 Keywords:

 Computer Science  Logic in Computer Science
 EPrint:
 In Proceedings TARK 2023, arXiv:2307.04005