Agent Interaction Semantics by Timed Operating Instructions

Mirko Viroli, Alessandro Ricci

Constrasting the standard framework based on agent-to-agent direct communication, in this paper we focus on agent interaction with the environment. In particular, the environment is seen as populated by ~coordination artifacts~, automatising coordination tasks and mediating agent interaction. As a semantic framework for this context we propose operating instructions, which the agent reads and interprets to become aware of the allowed actions and perceptions at a given time, and the MAS infrastructure can exploit to enforce correct agent behaviours and detect wrong ones. This allows us to conceptually handle a number of crucial aspects related to agent interaction, including interaction protocols, timing properties — such as delays and timeouts —, and a notion of contract featuring violation and guarantees.

Formally, our framework is based on a process algebra featuring (i) explicit connection between action and its related perceptions, (ii) a time-based branch operator, (iii) violation and guarantee deadlock states, and (iv) association of mental properties to interactions.

(keywords) artifacts, operating instructions, timing
Agent Communication, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 3396, pages 173-192, January 2005.
Rogier M. van Eijk, Marc-Philippe Huget, Frank Dignum (eds.), Springer
AAMAS 2004 International Workshop (AC 2004), New York, NY, USA, 19 July, 2004. Revised Selected and Invited Papers
Author = {Viroli, Mirko and Ricci, Alessandro},
Booktitle = {Agent Communication},
Doi = {10.1007/b106468},
Editor = {van Eijk, Rogier M. and Huget, Marc-Philippe and Dignum, Frank},
Isbn = {978-3-540-25015-9},
Isbn-10 = {3-540-25015-8},
Issn = {0302-9743},
Issn-Online = {1611-3349},
Keywords = {artifacts, operating instructions, timing},
Month = jan,
Note = {AAMAS 2004 International Workshop (AC 2004), New York, NY, USA, 19~} # jul # {~2004. Revised Selected and Invited Papers},
Pages = {173--192},
Publisher = {Springer},
Series = {LNAI},
Title = {Agent Interaction Semantics by Timed Operating Instructions},
Url = {},
Volume = 3396,
Year = 2005}

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