Co-argumentation Artifact for Agent Societies

  • Enrico Oliva
  • Peter McBurney
  • Andrea Omicini
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4946)


In a social context, people have only partial knowledge about the world and use arguments in order to solve problems, to reduce conflicts, or to exchange information.

Argumentation is a dialogic process, and could occur through direct interaction, or through supports of some sorts—like blackboards, or electronic fora. The same holds for intelligent agents in a multi-agent system (MAS); here, however, it is not clear what could act as a support for argumentation between agents, external to the agents themselves. To this end, this work exploits the agents and artifacts (A&A) meta-model for MAS, exploring the use of artifacts for agent argumentation within a MAS. Along this line, the first aim of this work is to design an argumentation component based on Dung’s preferred semantics, combining it with artifact abstraction in order to realise a social support for argumentation in MAS. Using argumentation within the A&A meta-model, we introduce here the notion of Co-Argumentation Artifact (CAA) as an artifact specialised in managing arguments and providing a coordination service for argumentation process in a MAS. In order to give concreteness to our proposal, we also discuss a first CAA deployment based on logic programming and tuple centres exploiting the TuCS oN infrastructure.


Multiagent System Logic Programming Agent Society Modus Ponens Argumentation Framework 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Omicini, A., Ricci, A., Viroli, M., Castelfranchi, C., Tummolini, L.: Coordination artifacts: Environment-based coordination for intelligent agents. In: Jennings, N.R., Sierra, C., Sonenberg, L., Tambe, M. (eds.) 3rd International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2004), 19–23 July, 2004, vol. 1, pp. 286–293. ACM, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nardi, B.A.: Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction. MIT Press, Cambridge (1996)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dung, P.M.: On the acceptability of arguments and its fundamental role in nonmonotonic reasoning, logic programming and n-person games. Artificial Intelligence 77(2), 321–358 (1995)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Prakken, H., Vreeswijk, G.: Logical systems for defeasible argumentation. In: Gabbay, D.M., Guenther, F. (eds.) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, 2nd edn., vol. 4, pp. 219–318. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sterling, L., Shapiro, E.: The art of Prolog: Advanced programming techniques. MIT Press, Cambridge (1994)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    aliCE Research Group: Tuprolog home page.
  7. 7.
    Walton, D.N., Krabbe, E.C.W.: Commitment in Dialogue: Basic Concepts of Interpersonal Reasoning. SUNY Press (1996)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Parsons, S., McBurney, P.: Argumentation-based communication between agents. In: Huget, M.-P. (ed.) Communication in Multiagent Systems. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2650, pp. 164–178. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Doutre, S., McBurney, P., Wooldridge, M.: Law-governed Linda as a semantics for agent dialogue protocols. In: Dignum, F., Dignum, V., Koenig, S., Kraus, S., Singh, M.P., Wooldridge, M. (eds.) 4rd International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2005), 25–29 July, 2005. pp. 1257–1258. ACM Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kirsh, D.: Distributed cognition, coordination and environment design. In: European Conference on Cognitive Science, pp. 1–11 (1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Omicini, A., Ricci, A., Viroli, M.: Agens Faber: Toward a theory of artefacts for MAS. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Sciences 150(3), 21–36 (May 29, 2006); In: Proceedings of 1st International Workshop “Coordination and Organization” (CoOrg 2005), COORDINATION 2005, Namur, Belgium (April 22, 2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Viroli, M., Omicini, A.: Coordination as a service. Fundamenta Informaticae 73(4), 507–534 (2006) (Special Issue: Best papers of FOCLASA 2002)zbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Omicini, A., Zambonelli, F.: Coordination for Internet application development. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 2(3), 251–269 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Omicini, A., Denti, E.: Formal ReSpecT. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science 48, 179–196 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cayrol, C., Doutre, S., Mengin, J.: On decision problems related to the preferred semantics for argumentation frameworks. Journal of Logic and Computation 13(3), 377–403 (2003)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Oliva
    • 1
  • Peter McBurney
    • 2
  • Andrea Omicini
    • 1
  1. 1.ALMA MATER STUDIORUMUniversità di BolognaCesenaItaly
  2. 2.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations