Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 97–113

An ontology for commitments in multiagent systems:

  • Munindar P. Singh

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008319631231

Cite this article as:
Singh, M.P. Artificial Intelligence and Law (1999) 7: 97. doi:10.1023/A:1008319631231


Social commitments have long been recognized as an important concept for multiagent systems. We propose a rich formulation of social commitments that motivates an architecture for multiagent systems, which we dub spheres of commitment. We identify the key operations on commitments and multiagent systems. We distinguish between explicit and implicit commitments. Multiagent systems, viewed as spheres of commitment (SoComs), provide the context for the different operations on commitments. Armed with the above ideas, we can capture normative concepts such as obligations, taboos, conventions, and pledges as different kinds of commitments. In this manner, we synthesize ideas from multiagent systems, particularly the idea of social context, with ideas from ethics and legal reasoning, specifically that of directed obligations in the Hohfeldian tradition.

commitments multiagent systems norms 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munindar P. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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