TitleDistributed Norm Management in Regulated Multi-agent Systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGaertner D, García-Camino A, Noriega P, Rodríguez-Aguilar JA, Vasconcelos WW
Conference NameAAMAS '07: Proceedings of the 6th international joint conference on Autonomous agents and multiagent systems
Conference LocationHonolulu, Hawaii
Date Published14/05/07
ISBN Number978-81-904262-7-5

Norms are widely recognised as a means of coordinating multi-agent systems. The distributed management of norms is a challenging issue and we observe a lack of truly distributed computational realisations of normative models. In order to regulate the behaviour of autonomous agents that take part in multiple, related activities, we propose a normative model, the Normative Structure (NS), an artifact that is based on the propagation of normative positions (obligations, prohibitions, permissions), as consequences of agents' actions. Within a NS, conflicts may arise due to the dynamic nature of the MAS and the concurrency of agents' actions. However, ensuring conflict-freedom of a NS at design time is computationally intractable. We show this by formalising the notion of conflict, providing a mapping of NSs into Coloured Petri Nets and borrowing well-known theoretical results from that field. Since online conflict resolution is required, we present a tractable algorithm to be employed distributedly. %for conflict resolution. We then demonstrate that this algorithm is paramount for the distributed enactment of a NS.