Challenges in the Specification of Full Contracts

  • Gordon J. Pace
  • Gerardo Schneider
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5423)


The complete specification of full contracts — contracts which include tolerated exceptions, and which enable reasoning about the contracts themselves, can be achieved using a combination of temporal and deontic concepts. In this paper we discuss the challenges in combining deontic and other relevant logics, in particular focusing on operators for choice, obligations over sequences, contrary-to-duty obligations, and how internal and external decisions may be incorporated in an action-based language for specifying contracts. We provide different viable interpretations and approaches for the development of such a sound logic and outline challenges for the future.


Temporal Logic Regular Expression Deontic Logic Process Calculus Deontic Modality 
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.
    Alur, R., Henzinger, T.A.: Real-time logics: complexity and expressiveness. Information and Computation 104, 390–401 (1993)MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Åqvist, L.: Good samaritans, contrary-to-duty imperatives, and epistemic obligations. Noûs 1(4), 361–379 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Åqvist, L.: Combinations of tense and deontic modality: On the approach to temporal logic with historical necessity and conditional obligation. J. Applied Logic 3(3-4), 421–460 (2005)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Broersen, J., Wieringa, R., Meyer, J.-J.C.: A fixed-point characterization of a deontic logic of regular action. Fundam. Inf. 48(2-3), 107–128 (2001)MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bruni, R., Melgratti, H.C., Montanari, U.: Theoretical foundations for compensations in flow composition languages. In: POPL 2005, pp. 209–220. ACM Press, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carmo, J., Jones, A.J.: Deontic logic and contrary-to-duties, vol. 8, pp. 265–343. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Castro, P.F., Maibaum, T.S.E.: A complete and compact propositional deontic logic. In: Jones, C.B., Liu, Z., Woodcock, J. (eds.) ICTAC 2007. LNCS, vol. 4711, pp. 109–123. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chisholm, R.M.: Contrary-to-duty imperatives and deontic logic. Analysis (XXIV), 33–36 (1963)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Claessen, K.: Safety Property Verification of Cyclic Synchronous Circuits. In: SLAP 2003. ENTCS, vol. 88. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2003)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Coenen, J.: Top-down development of layered fault tolerant systems and its problems- a denotic perspective. Ann. Math. Artif. Intell. 9(1-2), 133–150 (1993)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dinesh, N., Joshi, A., Lee, I., Sokolsky, O.: A logic for regulatory conformance checking. In: Proceedings of the 14th Monterey Workshop (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dinesh, N., Joshi, A., Lee, I., Sokolsky, O.: Reasoning about conditions and exceptions to laws in regulatory conformance checking. In: van der Meyden, R., van der Torre, L. (eds.) DEON 2008. LNCS, vol. 5076, pp. 110–124. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fenech, S., Pace, G.J., Schneider, G.: Conflict analysis of deontic contracts. In: WICT 2008 (November 2008) (to appear)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hoare, C.A.R., Butler, M., Ferreira, C.: A trace semantics for long running processes. In: Abdallah, A.E., Jones, C.B., Sanders, J.W. (eds.) Communicating Sequential Processes. LNCS, vol. 3525, pp. 133–150. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Khosla, S., Maibaum, T.S.E.: The prescription and description of state based systems. In: Banieqbal, B., Pnueli, A., Barringer, H. (eds.) Temporal Logic in Specification. LNCS, vol. 398, pp. 243–294. Springer, Heidelberg (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li, J., Zhu, H., Pu, G., He, J.: A formal model for compensable transactions. In: ICECCS 2007, pp. 64–73. IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Liang, S., Hudak, P., Jones, M.: Monad transformers and modular interpreters. In: POPL 1995, pp. 333–343. ACM Press, New York (1995)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lomuscio, A., Sergot, M.: Deontic interpreted systems. Studia Logica (75), 63–92 (2003)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    McNamara, P.: Deontic logic. Handbook of the History of Logic, vol. 7, pp. 197–289. North-Holland Publishing, Amsterdam (2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Meyer, J.-J.: Free choice permissions and ross’s paradox: Internal vs. external nondeterminism. In: Proc. 8th. Amsterdam Collloquium, University of Amsterdam, pp. 367–380 (1992)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Meyer, J.-J.C.: A different approach to deontic logic: Deontic logic viewed as a variant of dynamic logic. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 29, 109–136 (1988)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Milner, R.: A Calculus of Communicating Systems. Springer, New York (1982)MATHGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Owe, O., Schneider, G., Steffen, M.: Components, objects, and contracts. In: SAVCBS 2007, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2007. ACM Digital Library, pp. 91–94 (2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Papazoglou, M.P., Traverso, P., Dustdar, S., Leymann, F.: Service-oriented computing: State of the art and research challenges. Computer 40(11), 38–45 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Prakken, H., Sergot, M.: Contrary-to-duty obligations. Studia Logica 57(1), 91–115 (1996)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Prisacariu, C., Schneider, G.: A Formal Language for Electronic Contracts. In: Bonsangue, M.M., Johnsen, E.B. (eds.) FMOODS 2007. LNCS, vol. 4468, pp. 174–189. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Prisacariu, C., Schneider, G.: Towards a formal definition of electronic contracts. Technical Report 348, Dept. of Informatics, Univ. of Oslo. (January 2007)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Shiple, G.B.T., Touati, H.: Constructive analysis of cyclic circuits. In: European Design and Test Conference (1996)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    van der Hoek, W., van Linder, B., Meyer, J.-J.C.: On agents that have the ability to choose. Studia Logica 66(1), 79–119 (2000)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wright, G.H.V.: Deontic logic. Mind 60, 1–15 (1951)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wright, G.H.V.: Deontic logic: A personal view. Ratio Juris 12(1), 26–38 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wyner, A.Z.: Sequences, obligations, and the contrary-to-duty paradox. In: Goble, L., Meyer, J.-J.C. (eds.) DEON 2006. LNCS, vol. 4048, pp. 255–271. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon J. Pace
    • 1
  • Gerardo Schneider
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MaltaMalta
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations