A normative framework for agent-based systems

  • Fabiola López y López
  • Michael Luck
  • Mark d’Inverno


One of the key issues in the computational representation of open societies relates to the introduction of norms that help to cope with the heterogeneity, the autonomy and the diversity of interests among their members. Research regarding this issue presents two omissions. One is the lack of a canonical model of norms that facilitates their implementation, and that allows us to describe the processes of reasoning about norms. The other refers to considering, in the model of normative multi-agent systems, the perspective of individual agents and what they might need to effectively reason about the society in which they participate. Both are the concerns of this paper, and the main objective is to present a formal normative framework for agent-based systems that facilitates their implementation.


Normative agents Normative multi-agent systems 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Axelrod R (1986) An evolutionary approach to norms. Am Political Sci Rev 80(4):1095–1111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balzer W, Tuomela R (2001) Social institutions, norms and practices In: Dellarocas C, Conte R (eds) Social Order in Multi-Agent Systems, Kluwer, Academic Publishers, pp. 161–180Google Scholar
  3. Barbuceanu M, Gray T, Mankovski S (1999) The role of obligations in multiagent coordination. Appl Arttif Intell 13(1/2):11–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bicchieri C (1990) Norms of cooperation. Ethics 100(4):838–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boella G, Lesmo L (2001) Deliberative normative agents. In: Dellarocas C, Conte R (eds) Social Order in Multi-Agent Systems, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp 85–110Google Scholar
  6. Boman M (1999) Norms in artificial decision making. Artif Intell Law 7(1):17–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castelfranchi C, Conte R, Paolucci M (1998) Normative reputation and the cost of compliance. J Artif Soc Social Simul 1(3)Google Scholar
  8. Castelfranchi C, Dignum F, Jonker C, Treur J (2000) Deliberative normative agents: Principles and architecture In: Jennings N, Lesperance Y (eds) Intelligent agents VI (ATAL’99), LNAI 1757 Springer-Verlag, pp 206–220Google Scholar
  9. Conte R, Castelfranchi C (1995) Cognitive and Social Action. UCL PressGoogle Scholar
  10. Conte R, Castelfranchi C, Dignum F (1999a) Autonomous norm-acceptance. In: Müller J, Singh M, Rao A (eds) Intelligent agents V (ATAL’98), LNAI 1555 Springer-Verlag, pp 319–333Google Scholar
  11. Conte R, Dellarocas C (2001) Social order in info societies: An old challenge for innovation In: Dellarocas C, Conte R (eds) Social Order in Multi-Agent Systems, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp 1–15Google Scholar
  12. Conte R, Falcone R, Sartor G (1999b) Agents and norms: How to fill the gap? Artif Intell Law 7(1):1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dellarocas C, Klein M (2001) Contractual agent societies: Negotiated shared context and social control in open multi-agent systems. In: Dellarocas C, Conte R (eds) Social Order in Multi-Agent Systems, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp 113–133Google Scholar
  14. Dignum F (1999). Autonomous agents with norms. Artif Intell Law 7(1):69–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dignum F, Morley D, Sonenberg E, Cavendon L (2000) Towards socially sophisticated BDI agents. In: Durfee EH (ed) Proceedings on the 4th International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS-00), IEEE Computer Society, pp 111–118Google Scholar
  16. Dignum V (2004) A Model for Organizational Interaction. Phd University of Utrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  17. Dignum V, Dignum F (2001) Modelling agent societies: Coordination frameworks and institutions. In: Brazdil P, Jorge A (eds) Progress in Artificial Intelligence Knowledge Extraction, Multi-Agent Systems, Logic Programming, and Constraint Solving, LNAI 2258 Springer-Verlag, pp 191–204Google Scholar
  18. d’Inverno M, Luck M (2003) Understanding Agent Systems. 2nd edn Springer-VerlagGoogle Scholar
  19. Esteva M, Padget J, Sierra C (2001) Formalizing a language for institutions and norms. In: Meyer J, Tambe M (eds) Intelligent agents VIII (ATAL’01), LNAI 2333, Springer-Verlag, pp 348–366Google Scholar
  20. Hashimoto T, Egashira S (2001) Formation of social norms in communicating agents with cognitive frameworks, Syst Sci Complexity 14(1):54–74Google Scholar
  21. Jones A, Sergot M (1996) A formal characterisation of institutionalised power. Log J IGPL 4(3):429–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. López y López F (2003) Social Powers and Norms: Impact on Agent Behaviour PhD, University of Southampton, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  23. López y López F, Luck M (2003) Modelling norms for autonomous agents In: Chávez E, Favela J, Mejía M, Oliart A (eds) Proceedings of the Fourth Mexican International Conference on Computer Science (ENC’03), IEEE Computer Society, pp 238–245Google Scholar
  24. López y López F, Luck M (2004) A model of normative multi-agent systems and dynamic relationships. In: Lindemann G, Moldt D, Paolucci M (eds) Regulated Agent-Based Social Systems, LNAI 2934 Springer-Verlag, pp 259–280Google Scholar
  25. López y López F, Luck M, d’Inverno M (2002) Constraining autonomy through norms. In: Castelfranchi C, Johnson W (eds) Proceedings of The 1st International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, AAMAS’02, ACM Press, pp 674–681Google Scholar
  26. López y López F, Luck M, d’Inverno M (2004) Normative agent reasoning in dynamic societies. In: Jennings N, Sierra C, Sonenberg L, Tambe L (eds) Proceedings of The 3rd International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, AAMAS’04, ACM Press, pp 730–737Google Scholar
  27. Luck M, McBurney P, Preist C (2003) Agent Technology: Enabling Next Generation Computing (A Roadmap for Agent Based Computing). AgentLinkGoogle Scholar
  28. Norman T, Sierra C, Jennings N (1998). Rights and commitments in multi-agent agreements. In: Demazeau Y (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS-98), IEEE Computer Society Press, pp 222–229Google Scholar
  29. Ross A (1968). Directives and norms Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd.Google Scholar
  30. Sergot M (1999) Normative positions. In: McNamara P, Prakken H (eds) Norms, Logics and Information Systems, IOS Press, pp 289–308Google Scholar
  31. Shoham Y, Tennenholtz M (1995) On social laws for artificial agent societies: Off-line design. Artif Intell 73(1–2):231–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Singh, M. (1999). An ontology for commitments in multiagent systems: Toward a unification of normative concepts. Artif Intell Law 7(1):97–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Spivey JM (1992) The Z notation: A Reference Manual prentice-HallGoogle Scholar
  34. Tuomela R (1995). The Importance of Us: A Philosophical Study of Basic Social Norms. Stanford University PressGoogle Scholar
  35. Tuomela R, Bonnevier-Toumela M (1995) Norms and agreements. Eur J Law, Phil Comput Sci 5:41–46Google Scholar
  36. Ullmann-Margalit E (1977) The Emergence of Norms. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  37. van der Torre L, Tan Y (1999a) Contrary-to-duty reasoning with preference-based dyadic obligations. Ann Math Artif Intell 27(1–4):49–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. van der Torre L, Tan Y (1999b) Rights, duties and commitments between agents. In: Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp 1239–1246Google Scholar
  39. van der Torre L, Tan Y (2000) Dynamic normative reasoning under uncertainty. In: Smets P, Gabbay D, (eds), Agents, Reasoning and Dynamics, KluwerGoogle Scholar
  40. Walker A, Wooldridge M (1995) Understanding the emergence of conventions in multi-agent systems. In: Lesser V, Gasser L (eds) Proceedings of the First International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS’95), AAAI Press/MIT Press, pp 384–389Google Scholar
  41. Wieringa R, Dignum F, Meyer J, Kuiper R (1996) A modal approach to intentions, commitments and obligations: Intention plus commitment yields obligation. In: Brown M, Carmo J (eds) Deontic Logic, Agency and Normative Systems, Springer-Verlag, pp 80–97Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabiola López y López
    • 1
  • Michael Luck
    • 2
  • Mark d’Inverno
    • 3
  1. 1.Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de PueblaMéxico
  2. 2.University of SouthamptonUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.University of WestminsterUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations