On the Formal Semantics of Theory of Mind in Agent Communication

  • Alison R. PanissonEmail author
  • Ștefan Sarkadi
  • Peter McBurney
  • Simon Parsons
  • Rafael H. Bordini
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11327)


Recent studies have shown that applying Theory of Mind to agent technologies enables agents to model and reason about other agents’ minds, making them more efficient than agents that do not have this ability or agents that have a more limited ability of modelling others’ minds. Apart from the interesting results of combining Theory of Mind and agent technologies, an important premise has not been yet fully investigated in the AI literature: how do agents acquire and update their models of others’ minds? In the context of multi-agent systems, one of the most natural ways in which agents can acquire models of other agents’ mental attitudes is through communication. In this work, we propose an operational semantics for agents to update Theory of Mind through communication. We not only make our formalisation broadly applicable by defining a formal semantics based on components from the BDI architecture, but we also implement our approach in an agent-oriented programming language that is based on that architecture.


Multi-Agent Systems Theory of Mind Agent-Oriented Programming Languages 



We gratefully acknowledge the partial support from CAPES and CNPq.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison R. Panisson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ștefan Sarkadi
    • 2
  • Peter McBurney
    • 2
  • Simon Parsons
    • 2
  • Rafael H. Bordini
    • 1
  1. 1.School of TechnologyPUCRSPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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