Organisational Rules as an Abstraction for the Analysis and Design of Multi-Agent Systems

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Franco Zambonelli, Nicholas R. Jennings, Michael J. Wooldridge
International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering 11(3), pages 303-328

Multi-agent systems can very naturally be viewed as computational organisations. For this reason, we believe organisational abstractions offer a promising set of metaphors and models that can be exploited in the analysis and design of such systems. To this end, the concept of role models is increasingly being used to specify and design multi-agent systems. However, this is not the full picture. In this paper we introduce three additional organisational concepts - organisational rules , organisational structures, and organisational patterns - and discuss why we believe they are necessary for the complete specification of computational organisations. In particular, we focus on the concept of organisational rules and introduce a formalism, based on temporal logic, to specify them. This formalism is then used to drive the definition of the organisational structure and the identification of the organisational patterns. Finally, the paper sketches some guidelines for a methodology for agent-oriented systems based on our expanded set of organisational abstractions.

journal or series
book International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (JSEKE)