Departmental Papers (ESE)


This paper describes an effort to revise the PMFserv agent architecture in order to implement J.J. Gibson's Affordance Theory. The theoretical justification for this revision is outlined along with the engineering constraints that inspired it. We describe the resulting architectural changes and the impact of those changes on the flexibility, ease of rapid scenario creation, and ability to reuse previous investments in knowledge engineering offered by our architecture. The level of effort required to build a new scenario within PMFserv both with and without the revisions suggested by Affordance Theory is compared. We conclude that Affordance Theory is an elegant solution to the problem of providing both rapid scenario development and the simulation of individual differences in perception, culture, and emotionality within the same agent architecture.

Document Type


Date of this Version

May 2003


Copyright 2003, SISO, Inc. Permission is hereby granted to SISO members and sponsors to quote any of the material herein, or to make copies thereof, for personal or internal organizational purposes, as long as proper attribution is made and this copyright notice is included. All other uses, including resale and/or redistribution for commercial purposes, are prohibited without written permission from SISO, Inc. Postprint version. Presented at 2003 BRIMS Conference, Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation, May 2003, 12 pages. Published at:


affordance theory, software agents, culture, stress, emotion, crowd models, emergence



Date Posted: 06 September 2007