Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 207–249 | Cite as

Commitments and interaction norms in organisations

  • Mehdi Dastani
  • Leendert van der Torre
  • Neil Yorke-Smith
Article

Abstract

In an organisational setting such as an online marketplace, an entity called the ‘organisation’ or ‘institution’ defines interaction protocols, monitors agent interaction, and intervenes to enforce the interaction protocols. The organisation might be a software system that thus regulates the marketplace, for example. In this article we abstract over application-specific protocols and consider commitment lifecycles as generic interaction protocols. We model interaction protocols by explicitly-represented norms, such that we can operationalise the enforcement of protocols by means of norm enforcement, and we can analyse the protocols by a logical analysis of the norms. We adopt insights and methods from commitment-based approaches to agent interaction as well as from norm-based approaches to agent behaviour governance. First, we show how to use explicitly-represented norms to model commitment dynamics (lifecycles). Second, we introduce an operational semantics to operationalise norm enforcement. Third, we show how to logically analyse interaction protocols by means of commitment dynamics and norm enforcement. The model, semantics, and analysis are illustrated by a running example from a vehicle insurance domain.

Keywords

Commitments Normative organisations Operational semantics 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehdi Dastani
    • 1
  • Leendert van der Torre
    • 2
  • Neil Yorke-Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg
  3. 3.American University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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