Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 471-500

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Goals in conflict: semantic foundations of goals in agent programming

  • M. Birna van RiemsdijkAffiliated withTechnische Universiteit Delft Email author 
  • , Mehdi DastaniAffiliated withUtrecht University
  • , John-Jules Ch. MeyerAffiliated withUtrecht University


This paper addresses the notion of (declarative) goals as used in agent programming. Goals describe desirable states, and semantics of these goals in an agent programming context can be defined in various ways. We focus in this paper on the representation of conflicting goals. In particular, we define two semantics for goals, one for unconditional goals and one for conditional goals. The first is based on propositional logic, and the latter is based on default logic. We establish relations between and properties of these semantics.


Agent programming languages Goals Logic