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Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 329–363 | Cite as

Utilitarian Desires

  • Jérôme Lang
  • Leendert van der Torre
  • Emil Weydert
Article

Abstract

Autonomous agents reason frequently about preferences such as desires and goals. In this paper we propose a logic of desires with a utilitarian semantics, in which we study nonmonotonic reasoning about desires and preferences based on the idea that desires can be understood in terms of utility losses (penalties for violations) and utility gains (rewards for fulfillments). Our logic allows for a systematic study and classification of desires, for example by distinguishing subtly different ways to add up these utility losses and gains. We propose an explicit construction of the agent's preference relation from a set of desires together with different kinds of knowledge. A set of desires extended with knowledge induces a set of ‘distinguished’ utility functions by adding up the utility losses and gains of the individual desires, and these distinguished utility functions induce the preference relation.

qualitative decision theory QDT nonmonotonic reasoning about preferences autonomous agents BDI logic logic of desires utilitarian desires 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jérôme Lang
    • 1
  • Leendert van der Torre
    • 2
  • Emil Weydert
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut de Recherche en Informatique de ToulouseUniversité Paul SabatierToulouse Cedex (France
  2. 2.Vrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institute for Computer ScienceSaarbrückenGermany

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