Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 145–184 | Cite as

A Role Based Model for the Normative Specification of Organized Collective Agency and Agents Interaction

  • Olga Pacheco
  • José Carmo


In this article we propose a role based model for the specification of organized collective agency, based on the legal concept of artificial person and on the normative perspective of organizational systems. We focus on the analysis of groups of agents (humans or not) that want to act collectively in a (more or less) permanent basis, and in a stable and organized way, as it is the typical case of organizations. We argue that in those cases such groups of agents should give rise to a new agent, that we call of institutionalized agent, with its own identity, whose structure is essentially defined through the characterization of a set of roles and whose behavior is determined by the acts of the agents that play such roles. We also present a deontic and action modal logic that captures the concept of acting in a role and relates it with the deontic notions of obligation, permission and prohibition. This logic is used in the formal specification of institutionalized agents and of societies of agents and in the rigorous analysis of them. We pay particular attention to the interaction between agents through contracts or other normative relations. A high level specification language is also suggested.

organized collective agency institutionalized agents agents interaction normative systems contracts role action in a role action and deontic logic 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Pacheco
    • 1
  • José Carmo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Minho, Campus de GualtarBargaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Madeira, Campus da PenteadaFunchalPortugal

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