A Distributed Architecture for Norm Management in Multi-Agent Systems

  • Andrés García-Camino
  • Juan Antonio Rodríguez-Aguilar
  • Wamberto Vasconcelos
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4870)


Norms, that is, obligations, prohibitions and permissions, are useful abstractions to facilitate coordination in open, heterogeneous multi-agent systems. We observe a lack of distributed architectures and non-centralised computational models for norms. We propose a model, viz., normative structures, to regulate the behaviour of autonomous agents taking part in simultaneous and possibly related activities within a multi-agent system. This artifact allows the propagation of normative positions (that is, the obligations, prohibitions and permissions associated to individual agents) as a consequence of agents’ actions. Within a normative structure, conflicts may arise – one same action can be simultaneousely forbidden and obliged/permitted. This is due to the concurrent and dynamic nature of agents’ interactions in a multi-agent system. However, ensuring conflict freedom of normative structures at design time is computationally intractable, and thus real-time conflict resolution is required: our architecture support the distributed management of normative positions, including conflict detection and resolution.


Multiagent System Normative Position Normative Structure Autonomous Agent External Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés García-Camino
    • 1
  • Juan Antonio Rodríguez-Aguilar
    • 1
  • Wamberto Vasconcelos
    • 2
  1. 1.IIIA, Artificial Intelligence Research Institute CSICSpanish Research CouncilBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Dept. of Computing ScienceUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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