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For effective human-robot interaction, a robot should be able to make prediction about future circumstance. This enables the robot to generate preparative behaviors to reduce waiting time, thereby greatly improving the quality of the interaction. In this paper, we propose a novel probabilistic temporal prediction method for proactive interaction that is based on a Bayesian network approach. In our proposed method, conditional probabilities of temporal events can be explicitly represented by defining temporal nodes in a Bayesian network. Utilizing these nodes, both temporal and causal information can be simultaneously inferred in a unified framework. An assistant robot can use the temporal Bayesian network to infer the best proactive action and the best time to act so that the waiting time for both the human and the robot is minimized. To validate our proposed method, we present experimental results for case in which a robot assists in a human assembly task.

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