Normative MAS and the Law: Norm Languages, Mining and Reasoning with Legal Texts


  • Leon van der Torre
  • Livio Robaldo
  • Antonino Rotolo
  • Guido Governatori


Normative MAS (NorMAS) combines model for open MAS with models for normative systems dealing, for example, with different types of norms such as constitutive norms, regulative norms, procedural norms, and coordination norms. Indeed, this is one of the most promising answers to a major challenge raised by open distributed software systems: how to make MAS efficient through social models. In this regard, the employment of normative models in MAS has, among other things, the purpose of controlling and coordinating the behaviours of individual autonomous agents and support, for instance, various forms of collaborations.

The law is relevant in NorMAS from at least two perspectives: (a) real legal norms and systems may govern agents’ interaction; the design of MAS may get inspired by the legal model, which is one of the most sophisticated normative paradigms from social science.

This tutorial will offer an introductory outline of three topics in this area that show promising research avenues for the MAS community: (a) Conceptual and formal frameworks for norm mining and reasoning with legal texts; (b) NLP techniques and norm mining; (c) Reasoning about legal norms, legal systems, and legal interpretation.

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