The Role of Norms and Electronic Institutions in Multi-Agent Systems

The HarmonIA Framework

  • Javier Vázquez-Salceda

Part of the Whitestein Series in Software Agent Technologies book series (WSSAT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Applying Electronic Institutions and Norms to Complex Domains

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Javier Vázquez-Salceda
      Pages 3-17
    3. Javier Vázquez-Salceda
      Pages 59-88
  3. HarmonIA: a New Approach to Model Electronic Institutions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Javier Vázquez-Salceda
      Pages 91-114
    3. Javier Vázquez-Salceda
      Pages 115-145
    4. Javier Vázquez-Salceda
      Pages 147-206
    5. Javier Vázquez-Salceda
      Pages 207-221
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 223-274

About this book


"It is not the consciousness of men that defines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness." Karl Marx In recent years, several researchers have argued that the design of multi-agent sys­ tems (MAS) in complex, open environments can benefit from social abstractions in order to cope with problems in coordination, cooperation and trust among agents, problems which are also present in human societies. The agent-mediated electronic institutions (e-institutions for short) is a new and promising field which focuses in the concepts of norms and institutions in order to pro­ vide normative frameworks to restrict or guide the behaviour of (software) agents. The main idea is that the interactions among a group of (software) agents are ruled by a set of explicit norms expressed in a computational language representation that agents can interpret. Such norms should not be considered as a negative constraining factor but as an aid that guides the agents' choices and reduces the complexity ofthe environment making the behaviour of other agents more predictable.


Internet Multi-agent system Racter agents information privacy information system organization service-oriented computing software agent

Authors and affiliations

  • Javier Vázquez-Salceda
    • 1
  1. 1.Intelligent Systems Group Institute of Information and Computing SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information