Analysis of How Communication Affects Human Teams in a Dynamic Game

Jake M. Spuller


This research presents a new multi-agent, dynamic design to an existing tablet-based game environment that allows for the study of multi-human team communication when adapting to a changing environment. Research was conducted on designs of multi-agent environments, as well as synchronization protocols, to develop the new environment. Different types of communication were also examined to universally define how players in the environment interacted with each other. To make the environment rules dynamic and force participant strategies to change, common strategies provided from participant answers in a previous study in the same environment were confounded. Participants worked in two-person teams to establish strategies and work together to perform optimally in the environment, and adapt to the unseen changes from the environment. Participants were divided into two groups - teams that could communicate and teams that could not communicate. This experiment was performed to examine how communication affects performance, strategy development, and strategy adaptation. The results of the research show how teams that can communicate compare with teams that cannot communicate in strategy selection, strategy adaptation, and overall performance in the environment. These results can be applied when creating machine-agent teammates that must work with a human to adapt to changes never seen before.