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- van Eijck, J., Ruan, J. & Sadzik, T. Synthese (2012) 185(Suppl 1): 131. doi:10.1007/s11229-012-0083-1
The effects of public announcements, private communications, deceptive messages to groups, and so on, can all be captured by a general mechanism of updating multi-agent models with update action models, now in widespread use. There is a natural extension of the definition of a bisimulation to action models. Surely enough, updating with bisimilar action models gives the same result (modulo bisimulation). But the converse turns out to be false: update models may have the same update effects without being bisimilar. We propose action emulation as a notion of equivalence more appropriate for action models, and generalizing standard bisimulation. It is proved that action emulation provides a full characterization of update effect. We first concentrate on the general case, and next focus on the important case of action models with propositional preconditions. Our notion of action emulation yields a simplification procedure for action models, and it gives designers of multi-agent systems a useful tool for comparing different ways of representing a particular communicative action.