A Context-Based Institutional Normative Environment

  • Henrique Lopes Cardoso
  • Eugénio Oliveira
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5428)


We explore the concept of an agent-based Electronic Institution including a normative environment that supports electronic contract formation by providing a contextual normative background. We formalize the normative state using first-order logic and define institutional rules and norms operating on that state. A suitable semantics regarding the use of norms within a hierarchical context structure is given, based on norm activation conflict and defeasibility. Norm activation relies on substitution as in first-order logic. Reasoning about the fulfillment and violation of deadline obligations is formalized using linear temporal logic; implementation with institutional rules is discussed. Examples exploiting the normative environment are given.


Normative Environment Context Norm Activation Defeasibility 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Arcos, J.L., Esteva, M., Noriega, P., Rodríuez-Aguilar, J.A., Sierra, C.: Environment engineering for multiagent systems. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence 18(2), 191–204 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Artikis, A., Pitt, J., Sergot, M.: Animated specifications of computational societies. In: Castelfranchi, C., Johnson, W.L. (eds.) International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, Bologna, Italy, pp. 1053–1062. ACM Press, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lopes Cardoso, H., Oliveira, E.: Electronic institutions for b2b: Dynamic normative environments. Artificial Intelligence and Law 16(1), 107–128 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lopes Cardoso, H., Oliveira, E.: A contract model for electronic institutions. In: Sichman, J.S., Padget, J., Ossowski, S., Noriega, P. (eds.) COIN 2007. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4870, pp. 27–40. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lopes Cardoso, H., Oliveira, E.: Institutional reality and norms: Specifying and monitoring agent organizations. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems 16(1), 67–95 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Craswell, R.: Contract law: General theories. In: Bouckaert, B., De Geest, G. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Law and Economics. The Regulation of Contracts, vol. III, pp. 1–24. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (2000)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dignum, F., Broersen, J., Dignum, V., Meyer, J.J.: Meeting the deadline: Why, when and how. In: Hinchey, M.G., Rash, J.L., Truszkowski, W.F., Rouff, C.A. (eds.) FAABS 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3228, pp. 30–40. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Emerson, E.A.: Temporal and modal logic. In: van Leeuwen, J. (ed.) Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science. Formal Models and Sematics, vol. B, pp. 995–1072. North-Holland Pub. Co./MIT Press (1990)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Campos, J., López-Sánchez, M., Rodríguez-Aguilar, J.A., Esteva, M.: Formalising situatedness and adaptation in electronic institutions. In: Hubner, J.F., et al. (eds.) COIN 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5428, pp. 126–139. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Searle, J.R.: The Construction of Social Reality. Free Press, New York (1995)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jones, A., Sergot, M.: A formal characterisation of institutionalised power. Logic Journal of the IGPL 4(3), 427–443 (1996)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Vázquez-Salceda, J., Dignum, F.: Modelling electronic organizations. In: Mařík, V., Müller, J.P., Pěchouček, M. (eds.) CEEMAS 2003. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2691, pp. 584–593. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Grossi, D., Dignum, F.: From abstract to concrete norms in agent institutions. In: Hinchey, M.G., Rash, J.L., Truszkowski, W.F., Rouff, C.A. (eds.) FAABS 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3228, pp. 12–29. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grossi, D., Dignum, F., Meyer, J.J.C.: Contextual taxonomies. In: Leite, J., Torroni, P. (eds.) CLIMA 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3487, pp. 33–51. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cliffe, O., De Vos, M., Padget, J.: Specifying and reasoning about multiple institutions. In: Noriega, P., Vázquez-Salceda, J., Boella, G., Boissier, O., Dignum, V., Fornara, N., Matson, E. (eds.) COIN 2006. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4386, pp. 67–85. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Boella, G., van der Torre, L.: Contracts as legal institutions in organizations of autonomous agents. In: Jennings, N., Sierra, C., Sonenberg, L., Tambe, M. (eds.) Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, vol. 2, pp. 948–955. ACM Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Reiter, R.: A logic for default reasoning. Artificial Intelligence 13(1/2), 81–132 (1980)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Royakkers, L., Dignum, F.: Defeasible reasoning with legal rules. In: Brown, M., Carmo, J. (eds.) Deontic Logic, Agency and Normative Systems (Workshops in Computing), pp. 174–193. Springer, Heidelberg (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sartor, G.: Normative conflicts in legal reasoning. Artificial Intelligence and Law 1(2-3), 209–235 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    van der Torre, L.: Violated obligations in a defeasible deontic logic. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 1994), pp. 371–375. John Wiley and Sons, Amsterdam (1994)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    García-Camino, A., Noriega, P., Rodríguez-Aguilar, J.A.: An algorithm for conflict resolution in regulated compound activities. In: Seventh Annual International Workshop Engineering Societies in the Agents World (ESAW 2006) (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ryu, Y.U.: Relativized deontic modalities for contractual obligations in formal business communication. In: 30th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii, USA. Information Systems Track - Internet and the Digital Economy, vol. 4, p. 485 (1997)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Grosof, B.N.: Representing e-commerce rules via situated courteous logic programs in ruleml. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 3(1), 2–20 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Governatori, G.: Representing business contracts in ruleml. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems 14(2-3), 181–216 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Giannikis, G.K., Daskalopulu, A.: Defeasible reasoning with e-contracts. In: IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology, pp. 690–694 (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    García-Camino, A., Rodríguez-Aguilar, J.A., Sierra, C., Vasconcelos, W.: Norm-oriented programming of electronic institutions: A rule-based approach. In: Noriega, P., Vázquez-Salceda, J., Boella, G., Boissier, O., Dignum, V., Fornara, N., Matson, E. (eds.) COIN 2006. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4386, pp. 177–193. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Friedman-Hill, E.: Jess in Action. Manning Publications Co. (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrique Lopes Cardoso
    • 1
  • Eugénio Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.LIACC, DEI / Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

Personalised recommendations