Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione

An operational approach to norms in artificial institutions

Viganò, Francesco ; Fornara, Nicoletta ; Colombetti, Marco

The notion of artificial institution is crucial for the specification of open and dynamic interaction frameworks where heterogeneous and autonomous agents can interact to face problems in various fields, like for instance electronic commerce, business-to-business (B2B) applications, and personal assistant applications. In our view the specification of artificial institutions requires a clear... Plus

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    Summary
    The notion of artificial institution is crucial for the specification of open and dynamic interaction frameworks where heterogeneous and autonomous agents can interact to face problems in various fields, like for instance electronic commerce, business-to-business (B2B) applications, and personal assistant applications. In our view the specification of artificial institutions requires a clear standard definition of some basic concepts: the notion of ontology, authorizations, conventions, and norms. In this paper we propose an operational approach to the definition of norms that is mainly based on the generation of commitments. These norms can be employed to verify if the interacting agents are behaving in accordance with the normative specification of the system. In particular we regard norms as event-driven rules that are fired by events happening in the system and then modify commitments affecting the agents having a certain role. We will discuss the crucial differences between the notion of authorization and permission and how the notion of permissions, obligations, and prohibitions can be expressed in our model. We will investigate the connections among the specification of different artificial institutions, in particular how an institution can enrich or further regulate the entities defined in another one. Finally we will briefly present the specification of the Dutch Auction Institution and of the Auction House Institution in order to exemplify the model presented in this paper.