Agent reasoning for norm compliance: A semantic approach

M. Birna Van Riemsdijk, Louise A. Dennis, Michael Fisher, Koen V. Hindriks

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic


A system of autonomous agents may exhibit undesirable or ineffective behavior if no form of regulation is imposed. Norms, describing how agents should ideally behave, can be used to address this issue if agents are able to reason about norms and adapt their behavior to comply with them (if they choose to do so). Assuming that which norms will have to be followed is unknown at design time, it is not possible to pre-program agents such that their behavior is norm compliant. Instead, we need a generic execution mechanism that allows agents to adapt their behavior at run-time, which is what we propose in this paper. The execution mechanism is defined on top of an abstract agent decision making mechanism. This is done by allowing the execution of actions by the agent decision making mechanism only if these are not forbidden according to norms, as well as triggering the execution of actions if this is required by norms. We specify norms using Linear Temporal Logic and define the operational semantics of the execution mechanism using techniques from executable temporal logic. We formally analyze properties of the execution mechanism, including norm compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2013, AAMAS 2013 - Saint Paul, MN, United States
Duration: 6 May 201310 May 2013


Conference12th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2013, AAMAS 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySaint Paul, MN


  • Agent programming
  • Formal semantics
  • Normative systems

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