Formal Modelling in Electronic Commerce

Part of the series International Handbooks on Information Systems pp 325-342

A Note on Modelling Speech Acts as Signalling Conventions

  • Andrew J.I. JonesAffiliated withKing’s College
  • , Steven Orla KimbroughAffiliated withUniversity of Pennsylvania

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This paper presents a fully formal integration of Jones’s logical theory of speech acts as signalling conventions with Kimbrough’s Formal Language for Business Communication (FLBC). The work is part of a larger programme of logicism in the context of electronic commerce. Speech acts are an especially apt subject for this programme because of their pervasiveness and importance in communication for all commerce, electronic or not. The paper demonstrates that the conventionist view of speech acts, embodied in Jones’s logical theory, fits naturally with Kimbrough’s FLBC and with the Basic Messaging Framework for business communications. Further, the paper provides an illustration of how the resulting integrated theory might be implemented in practice through logic programming.