Operational Modelling of Agent Autonomy: Theoretical Aspects and a Formal Language
Autonomy has always been conceived as one of the defining attributes of intelligent agents. While the past years have seen considerable progress regarding theoretical aspects of autonomy, and while autonomy has been identified as an enabler for new computing paradigms such as grid computing, (web-)service-oriented computing or ubiquitous computing, autonomy as a software property is still miles away from implementation. Because of the legal responsibility of designers or users for the actions of autonomous software, the implementation of autonomy will require rigorous modelling and verification, so as to ensure maximum dependability. We take a first step in this direction by introducing a formal language ASL (Autonomy Specification Language) that allows for a precise specification of the activities to be carried out by a set of agents, the deontic constraints imposed on these activities, and the implications of activity execution on particular constraints (i.e., constraint dynamics). Agent autonomy is implicit in an ASL specification as the degrees of freedom left to the agents for the execution of activities.
KeywordsStatus Statement Multiagent System Agent Autonomy Status Range Assembly Manager
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