Dependence Graphs: Dependence Within and Between Groups

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This paper applies the two-party dependence theory (Castelfranchi, Cesta and Miceli, 1992, in Y. Demazeau and E. Werner (Eds.) Decentralized AI-3, Elsevier, North Holland) to modelling multiagent and group dependence. These have theoretical potentialities for the study of emerging groups and collective structures, and more generally for understanding social and organisational complexity, and practical utility for both social-organisational and agent systems purposes. In the paper, the dependence theory is extended to describe multiagent links, with a special reference to group and collective phenomena, and is proposed as a framework for the study of emerging social structures, such as groups and collectives. In order to do so, we propose to extend the notion of dependence networks (applied to a single agent) to dependence graphs (applied to an agency). In its present version, the dependence theory is argued to provide (a) a theoretical instrument for the study of social complexity, and (b) a computational system for managing the negotiation process in competitive contexts and for monitoring complexity in organisational and other cooperative contexts.